The SIU Edwardsville women's basketball team has been consistent throughout the seasons, as evident by head coach Paula Buscher picking up her 300th win last week.
It's no different this season. The Cougars sit in second place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 10-2 record with the only two losses to Belmont, which is undefeated in the conference. The Cougars are 13-10 on the season and have a two-game lead for the No. 2 seed for the OVC Tournament.
Eastern Illinois (2-21, 1-11) travels to SIUE on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip.
"I think they know how to win, they expect to win," EIU coach Matt Bollant said. "They play good defense and they are physical."
The Cougars are led by guards Donshel Beck and Lauren White. The two of them have combined for 114 assists (White with 64, Beck with 50). Beck is averaging 14.0 points per game, including 16.6 per game in OVC play, and 6.1 rebounds per game to go along with 23 steals. White is averaging 13.7 points per game and has 22 three-pointers and 22 steals.
"They are pretty complete players," Bollant said. "Beck doesn't shoot a lot of three's, but she can get to the line with 118 free throws attempted and White has shot 107 free throws. That's a lot of free throws. They get to the line and attack and White can shoot the three as well."
SIUE is averaging 64 points per game and are shooting 39.4 percent from the field. Defensively, the Cougars are only letting teams shoot 39.3 percent from the field and opponents are unable to get offensive rebounds against them. The Cougars are averaging 38.6 rebounds per game compared to 36.0 per game for opponents. In OVC play, SIUE is outrebounding teams 40.6 per game to 32.8 per game.
"Typically, they get a lot more defensive rebounds than the other team because they don't turn it over," Bollant said. "Forty rebounds is a lot more than 32 in conference play. Their offensive rebounds are only 19 more, but the defensive rebounds are a lot more."
EIU is averaging only 58.3 points per game and shooting only 35.8 percent from the field. Taylor Steele and Karle Pace are both averaging 12.1 points per game.
The Panthers have to find a way to bounce back after a tough loss on Saturday. EIU had a chance to pick up a win against Tennessee Tech, but the game slipped away in the final seconds and the Golden Eagles pulled out a 60-57 win.
Bollant said that starts in practice and the team has to fix the little things in order to pull out a win.
"We want to go from last to first and it doesn't come easy. We started off practice the other day with six suicide runs because of six plays we didn't do right," Bollant said. "Every little thing matters. We did a couple of things wrong late. If we want to change, we have to do all of the little things better than we are doing right now."