Lady Vols sweep Frontier

By Katie Sandusky 

FAIRFIELD – The Lady Vols returned back to action today at Frontier College in Fairfield Illinois.  Game one had Sydney Levan on the mound. She allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in seven innings.

The Vols bats came alive in the 5th inning with back to back homeruns by Taja Dedecker and Lynnsay Wilson. Mikayla Chamness added 3 doubles of her own to help with the cause. Lexi Childers and a Taylor Rogers each chipped in two hits a piece.  Winning game one 9-2.

Bailey Anderson took the mound in game 2 for the Vols. Anderson gave up only 1 hit through 3 solid innings not allowing a run and picking up the win.  Alyssa Wright entered in relief and gave up two runs in her two innings of work.

Coach Orsburn-Siefert was very pleased with her pitching staff today with everyone contributing.

On the offensive side in game two, Lexi Childers lead the way by going 4-4, 3 RBI, and a stolen base. Taja Dedecker racked up a double and a total of 7 RBI’s on the day.  Lynnsay Wilson added two hits and 4 RBI in game two as well as Mikayla Chamness tallying another double and single in game two.  Ally Vaughn scattered two hits with 2’RBI in game two. Winning game two 16-2 in 5 innings.

Coach Orsburn-Siefert stated that she was pleased with the offensive production throughout the entire line up 1-9.  She believes her young team is beginning to compete better and just hopes Mother Nature begins to cooperate so the team and continue to “gel”!  She states that they are fun to watch when they are focused and that just comes with playing time.

Peyton Wilhoit earns fifth MVC Golfer of the Week award


ST LOUIS, MO – For the fourth time this year and the fifth time in his career, Southern Illinois men’s golfer Peyton Wilhoit has earned the Missouri Valley Conference Golfer of the Week award.

A junior from Searcy, Arkansas, Wilhoit placed third this week at the South Florida Invitational at 3-over par. It marked the fourth-straight tournament in which he has placed in the top 10 on the leader board, including a 10th-place showing at the Wyoming Intercollegiate, first at the Kennesaw State Intercollegiate, and taking fifth place at the LSU Intercollegiate. He is 13-under par combined during the four-tournament stretch.

The Salukis will play three more tournaments this spring — the William & Mary Intercollegiate, Arkansas State Intercollegiate and Purdue Invitational — before hosting the MVC Championships at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on April 23-24.

Arkansas State overcomes SIU’s rally, walks off in 11 innings

By John Lock –

JONESBORO, Ark. – The Southern Illinois baseball team scored five runs in the ninth inning to take a brief 8-7 lead, but Arkansas State tied the game in the ninth and won it in the 11th to end Southern’s five-game winning streak.

“We didn’t play well most of the night, but we battled,” SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. “We had a big ninth inning to give ourselves a chance; but at the end of the day, we just made too many mistakes.”

SIU (8-9) and Arkansas State (8-5) each committed four errors in the game. Southern scored an unearned run in the first inning, then committed two errors in the second inning to hand Arkansas State three unearned runs. The first earned run of the game wasn’t scored until the sixth inning.

“We have to learn to play on grass,” Henderson said. “We play on turf every day at home, and it seems like we can’t play defense on grass. That’s something we have to clean up.”

A-State took a 4-1 lead into the seventh before SIU got two runs back to make it 4-3, but the Red Wolves answered with a three-run bottom half to extend the lead to 7-3.

The Salukis mounted a furious rally in the ninth. Austin Ulick drew a walk, and J.T. Weber followed with a home run to bring SIU within 7-5. Nikola Vasic reached on an error, and Addison Fugitt drew a walk to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Connor Kopach blasted a three-run shot to left field to give SIU the lead.

But Arkansas State tied the game in the ninth without the benefit of a hit. The Red Wolves drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, then bunted them into scoring position. With the winning run on second base, SIU played the infield back, and A-State tied the game with an RBI groundout.

“Our bench was tremendous,” Henderson said. “We truly thought we were going to score and get it done, and we did. We just have to finish.”

SIU struck out 13 times in the game, four of which were in the two extra innings.

“We made mistakes on defense, and we made some mistakes base running, but the biggest thing was striking out 13 times,” Henderson said. “You don’t give yourself a chance to get on base. We worked on that yesterday more than anything, and we talked about it. That’s the biggest disappointment from the game.”

SIU pitched a bullpen game, so starter Brad Harrison pitched only two innings. His scoreless inning streak was snapped at 19 innings, but the three runs were unearned and he lowered his season ERA to 1.12. Dylan Givensrelieved Harrison and threw 3.2 good innings, allowing just one run and striking out three.

Henry Boeckmann pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts. Freshman Trey McDaniel worked through the heart of Arkansas State’s order in the 10th to extend the game to the 11th inning before taking the loss in the 11th. In the game, SIU pitching stranded 12 A-State base runners.

Southern’s offense stole six bases in the game. Connor Kopach was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Addison Fugitt went 1-for-4 with two walks. Ulick and Weber, who both came off the bench, combined to go 2-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

SIU welcomes No. 24 Illinois to Itchy Jones Stadium for a three-game series this weekend. Friday’s first pitch for the series opener is scheduled for 4 p.m.


Marty Simmons not expected to return as Evansville basketball head coach

EVANSVILLE, IN – Marty Simmons will not be retained as men’s basketball head coach at the University of Evansville, ending an 11-year tenure at his alma mater. Sources confirmed that an announcement by the university will take place Wednesday morning.

A message left for Simmons was not immediately returned.

Simmons compiled an overall record of 184-175 and 82-116 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Under his watch, the Aces played in the postseason five times and won the Tournament in 2015. However, the program’s drought of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament or National Invitational Tournament has stretched to 19 seasons.

Please click on the link for the full story from Pat Hickey of the Evansville Courier and Press.


Armon Fletcher named NABC All-District

-Armon Fletcher pulls up for a jumper in a home win against Missouri State. (Madison Case, SIU Salukis photo)

By Tom Weber –

Southern Illinois junior guard Armon Fletcher was named First-Team All-District by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on Tuesday. Team members are selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC in NCAA Division I.

The Edwardsville, Illinois native led SIU in scoring with 14.1 points per game and was second in rebounding with 5.1 rebounds per contest. He shot 48.6 from the field and 34.8 percent from 3-point range and scored double figures in all but four games. A Second-Team All-MVC pick, Fletcher had a career night at Valparaiso on Jan. 6 with 32 points and 14 rebounds. He made the game-winning basket at Missouri State with six seconds left, and the go-ahead 3-pointer versus Valparaiso in Carbondale with less than a minute left on Feb. 3.

NABC District 16
First Team
Alize Johnson, Missouri State
Clayton Custer, Loyola
Armon Fletcher, Southern Illinois
Reed Timmer, Drake
Milik Yarbrough, Illinois State

Second Team
Ryan Taylor, Evansvile
Phil Fayne, Illinois State
Donte Ingram, Loyola
Darrell Brown, Bradley
Jordan Barnes, Indiana State


ST. LOUIS – Southern Illinois baseball pitcher Brad Harrison and outfielder Alex Lyon swept weekly awards from the Missouri Valley Conference, the league announced Monday. Harrison was the league’s Pitcher of the Week for a second-straight week, and Lyon was the Valley’s Player of the Week.

Harrison allowed only one infield single in eight shutout innings at Southeast Missouri on Tuesday night. Remarkably, Harrison allowed only one ball to leave the infield all game, a third-inning fly out to left field. After SEMO’s leadoff hitter reached on an infield single, Harrison essentially pitched a perfect game the rest of the way—SEMO’s only other base runner reached on a dropped third strike. For the game, Harrison piled up a career-high 13 strikeouts and did not walk a batter. He extended his active scoreless streak to 18 innings. For good measure, Harrison also added an RBI single in SIU’s 10-4 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday.

Lyon hit .625 with two doubles, a triple, four stolen bases, and 10 RBIs in SIU’s 5-0 week. Lyon posted an .875 slugging percentage for the week and a .632 on-base percentage. Lyon had at least two hits in every game. He went 3-for-4 with 5 RBIs at Murray State, and he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and three stolen bases on the series finale vs. Northern Illinois. Lyon entered the week hitting .375 and still managed to raise his season batting average nearly 75 points to .446, which now leads the MVC.

SIU swept both awards in the same week for the first time since 2005, when Southern swept the awards twice.

Southern Illinois travels to Arkansas State on Tuesday, and the Salukis host nationally ranked Illinois this weekend at Itchy Jones Stadium.

Marcus Bartley named CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-American

Saluki PG Marcus Bartley in action against Missouri State this past season. (Madison Case SIU Salukis)


By Tom Weber,

Southern Illinois junior guard Marcus Bartley was named a CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-American on Monday. He joined fellow Missouri Valley Conference player Reed Timmer on the Third Team.

A sport administration major with a 4.00 GPA, Bartley led Southern Illinois with 90 assists, despite missing the first six games of the season with a broken wrist. He returned in December and played in 26 games, including 22 starts. The Saint Louis transfer and Decatur, Illinois native averaged 6.7 points and ranked second on the team in 3-point shooting percentage at .383. In two games against Northern Iowa, he went 8-for-11 from outside the arc.

Bartley is the program’s first Academic All-America team pick since Bryan Mullins won first-team honors in 2009.

FIRST TEAM Name    School    Yr.    GPA    Major
Jevon Carter    West Virginia    Sr.    3.51    Sport Management
Tyler Clement    Creighton    Gr.    4.00 / 4.00    Finance / Marketing
A.J. Jacobson (1) (%)    North Dakota State    Gr.    3.99 / 4.00    Zoology (U) / Master of Business Administration (G)
Tyler Seibring (3)    Elon    Jr.    3.95    English / Economics
Joe Sherburne    UMBC    Jr.    4.00    Financial Economics

SECOND TEAM Name    School    Yr.    GPA    Major
Christian Adams    Costal Carolina    Jr.    4.00    Economics and Finance
Jalen Brunson    Villanova    Sr.    3.34    Communications
Jordan Howard (2)    Central Arkansas    Sr.    3.71    Digital Filmmaking
Luke Maye    North Carolina    Jr.    3.45    Business Administration
Skylar Mays    LSU    So.    4.01    Biological Sciences
Dylan Windler    Belmont    Jr.    3.84    Accounting

THIRD TEAM Name    School    Yr.    GPA    Major
Marcus Bartley    Southern Illinois    Jr.    4.00    Sport Administration
Joshua Braun (1) (*)    Grand Canyon    Gr.    3.83 / 3.60    Master of Business Administration
Stone Gettings    Cornell    Jr.    3.81    Applied Economics & Management
Reed Timmer    Drake University    Sr.    3.47    Pharmacy
Kevin Vannatta    UNC Asheville    Sr.    3.93    Accounting

CoSIDA Academic All-America® of the Year: Jevon Carter, West Virginia

SIU sweeps NIU, pushes winning streak to five games

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Southern Illinois baseball team won both ends of a doubleheader against Northern Illinois to sweep the three-game series.

In the opener, SIU (8-8) led for nearly the entire game. NIU (4-10) scrambled for two runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Connor Kopach led off with a walk, and Logan Blackfan crushed a two-run home run to give SIU the lead. After that, the floodgates opened, and SIU scored seven runs in the inning to win, 10-4.

In the second game, NIU took a 1-0 lead into the third inning. SIU loaded the bases with two outs, and Alex Lyon pounded a bases-clearing double into the left-center. Southern ran with the lead and swept the series with a 7-2 victory.

“We took care of business,” SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. “To me, the key to the day was two swings of the bat. Logan Blackfan in the first game, and Alex Lyon in the second game. Those are two big swings.”

Southern Illinois got two solid pitching performances. In the doubleheader opener, Jamison Steege allowed two runs in six innings. Trey McDaniel pitched five scoreless outs before NIU strung together a walk and two singles to take the lead. McDaniel got the final out of the inning to keep it a one-run game, and he earned the win after Blackfan’s homer and SIU’s seven-run bottom half.

“I’m proud of what we did in the first game,” Henderson said. “We led the whole game and gave it up. Then, Logan had a big swing, and we kept adding on.”

In the second game, Mason Hiser had his best start of the year and earned his first Division I win. Northern Illinois loaded the bases with nobody out and scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly, but Hiser limited the damage to the one run. After that, he threw four scoreless frames.

“The key was him minimizing that,” Henderson said. “Two errors and two walks led to only one run. We talk all the time about minimizing the damage. After that, he got on a roll and threw a lot closer to the guy we think he’s going to be. He kept the ball down in the zone and threw strikes. His slider was better today than it’s been all year. He really competed for us.”

The Salukis stole nine bases in the doubleheader. For the season, SIU already has 43 stolen bases, nearly halfway to last year’s total of 100 stolen bases, which ranked 14th nationally.

“That’s the kind of baseball we want to play,” Henderson said. “I think it’s fun, and our kids think it’s fun. It’s demoralizing for other people. You put so much pressure on them. Everybody looks at the stolen bases, and that’s a big part of it, but it’s also going first-to-third. It’s also moving defenses around. People are out of position all the time. And what does it do to the pitcher? I guarantee when people prepare for us, the first thing they say is, ‘You have to control their running game.’ Having had to do that against other teams, I know that’s not fun.”

After starting the year 3-8, SIU has ripped off five-straight wins. The Salukis are back in action Tuesday at Arkansas State before hosting Illinois for a three-game series next weekend.

Box Score Game 1

Box Score Game 2



From McKendree University Athletics 

LEBANON, IL —Chuck Brueggemann, McKendree University director of athletics, has announced the decision that Harry Statham will conclude his service as the men’s basketball coach effective at the end of his current appointment, May 31, 2018. The University has extended Statham the opportunity to continue his current faculty appointment as assistant professor of physical education for the 2018-19 academic year.

Statham, a 1960 graduate of McKendree, the all-time wins leader in college basketball history at the four-year level, amassed 1,122 victories over 52 seasons at his alma mater. He surpassed the late Pat Summitt — who held the all-division record for wins by a college basketball coach, men’s or women’s – with victory No. 1,099 in a 92-84 triumph at Maryville University on Feb. 6, 2016. In addition to being the all-time leader in coaching victories with 1,122, Statham coached in a record 1,635 collegiate games, all of which came on the sidelines for the Bearcats.

McKendree Athletics Photo

Statham served a dual role as athletic director and men’s basketball coach at McKendree for 44 years, which spanned his return to campus in the fall of 1966 until May 2010. Statham also coached baseball and track and field during the early years of his tenure at McKendree. Under Statham’s leadership as athletic director, the number of athletic programs offered at McKendree grew from a handful to 24 sports. He was honored as the NAIA Central Region Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 1998-99. Statham was also recognized as the American Midwest Conference and NAIA Region V Athletic Director of the Year in 2007-08.

“For more than half a century, Harry has represented himself, his student-athletes and McKendree University with the utmost professionalism and class,” said Brueggemann. “Harry built a winning culture by attracting talented student-athletes who excelled on the basketball court and in the classroom. He also prepared them for life after basketball, as scores of his players have gone on to give back and teach the game and life lessons that Harry bestowed upon them. We will long celebrate the body of work that Harry Statham has assembled over his career at McKendree University.”

From his first game at McKendree, a 90-78 win over Westminster College back in November 1966, Statham helped lead the Bearcats’ program into the conference, regional and national spotlight. Statham led the Bearcats to the post-season 41 times and guided McKendree to 15 appearances in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Bearcats reached the national quarterfinals three times under his tutelage, including an NAIA Fab Four berth in 2003. Six times in his career, Statham led McKendree to at least 30 victories in a season, including a school-record 35 wins in the 1987-88 campaign. Overall, the Bearcats won 20 games or more 35 times in Statham’s 52 seasons at McKendree.

Harry Statham‘s contributions to McKendree University both on and off the court are extraordinary.  He is a prominent figure in the history of McKendree University athletics,” said James M. Dennis, president, McKendree University.

In conference play, McKendree won 11 regular-season and six tournament championships with Statham at the helm. For his efforts, Statham was an eight-time conference Coach of the Year honoree. He also collected NAIA District 20 Coach of the Year accolades eight times. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) recognized Statham’s coaching accomplishments with IBCA-NAIA Coach of the Year honors on 12 different occasions.

Statham coached hundreds of players in more than half a century on the sidelines for McKendree. Of that number, a total of 73 Bearcats earned post-season honors. That includes 10 players who received first-team All-America honors. Of the 51 McKendree players who have scored at least 1,000 points in their playing careers, Statham coached all but five.

In his storied career, Statham has earned several national and regional accolades. He was named the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year following the 2001-02 season. That made Statham the first McKendree coach to receive national Coach of the Year accolades. In 2005, he was recognized by two different national organizations for his coaching accomplishments. At the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) national convention in St. Louis, Statham was honored by his coaching peers with the Guardians of the Game Leadership Award.

Later that summer, Statham was named as the winner of the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy. The award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through education, research or service.

Statham has also earned induction into four different Hall of Fame classes. The first came in 1987 when he was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame. In 1998, Statham was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Statham was honored in 2012 by his alma mater with induction into the McKendree Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a 2014 member of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame class.

Many McKendree basketball fans have witnessed several of Statham’s milestone coaching victories inside the facility that bears his name, the Harry M. Statham Sports Center. In addition to collecting career wins No. 500, 600, 700, 800, 1,000 and 1,100 at the facility, Statham earned other victories at home which garnered national media attention. On Nov. 15, 2002 in an 88-87 triumph over Mountain State University, Statham passed former Winston-Salem State University (N.C.) coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines as the all-time wins leader in NAIA history.

The second, and perhaps more memorial moment, came in Lebanon on Dec. 1, 2004 against Maryville. That night, Statham earned career win No. 880 when the Bearcats defeated the Saints 83-72. That pushed Statham past former University of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith for the all-time wins lead among men’s college basketball coaches at the four-year level. Nearly five years later on Nov. 13, 2009, Statham became the first men’s college basketball coach to record 1,000 wins when the Bearcats rolled past East-West University by a score of 79-49.

Statham began his coaching career while an undergraduate at McKendree. He guided the boys basketball team at O’Fallon Junior High School while taking college courses at night. After graduating from McKendree in 1960, Statham moved on to the University of Illinois, where he was a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball and track teams. He completed requirements for a master’s degree in physical education before embarking on a high school coaching career. Statham coached at Manito Foreman High School from 1961-63 before moving to Dwight High School. He stayed at Dwight three years before returning to McKendree.

Brueggemann said that a national search for Statham’s successor will begin immediately.

SIU pitching nearly perfect in 5-0 win at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Brad Harrison threw eight dominant innings and led the Southern Illinois baseball program to a 5-0 win over Southeast Missouri on Tuesday night. After SEMO hit a leadoff single in the first inning, Harrison (8.0 IP) and Trey McDaniel (1.0 IP) essentially threw a perfect game the rest of the way–SEMO went 0-for-28, with its only other base runner coming on a dropped third strike.

SEMO only hit one ball out of the infield all game, a third-inning fly out to left field.

“That’s about as dominating as I’ve ever seen, and it was against a club that can swing it,” SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. “It’s a great pitching performance at a time when we really needed it.”

Harrison (3-0) threw a 2-hit shutout at Belmont last week and has an active streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings. He retired the final 17 Belmont hitters last week—from that point through the end of tonight’s game, Harrison struck out 23, walked none, and limited opposing batters to 1-for-43 (.023).

“That’s a pretty amazing baseball game,” Henderson said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen two performances back-to-back that were that dominating against good clubs.”

Southern had the lead before Harrison threw his first pitch. Addison FugittConnor KopachLogan Blackfan, and Hunter Anderson strung together four-straight hits, followed by a Jared Kengott sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead. SIU played without Alex Lyon and Kenton Crawford, who regularly hit in the heart of the lineup, and still pounded out 11 hits after hitting .367 over the weekend.

“We were without our 3-hole and 5-hole hitters, and we still did a phenomenal job offensively all game long,” Henderson said. “We didn’t score several innings, but we had good ABs and got guys on. I’m really proud of our offense. We got on a roll last weekend offensively and certainly carried that into today.”

The Salukis played error-free and expanded the lead with a run in the second and another in the eighth. SIU (4-8) had base runners in seven of the nine innings. Blackfan went 3-for-4 and stole his first career base. SEMO fell to 3-10.

“That was a complete game,” Henderson said. “Our hitters were as good as we’ve been. We did a great job hitting balls where they were pitched. We barreled a ton of balls up in tough hitting conditions. I’m extremely proud of our entire ball club. That’s the club I keep saying we’re going to be, and tonight, we were that club.”

SIU travels to Murray State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. (SCHEDULE NOTE: Wednesday’s game at Murray State was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. but was moved up one hour due to weather concerns.)

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