The SIU women's basketball team takes on Wichita State for the third time today at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Moline.

The Salukis (16-13) swept the Shockers (14-15) during the regular season, but in two fairly different games. SIU's 77-54 win in Carbondale featured 19 assists on 27 buckets and the Shockers getting outscored 42-27 in the second half. Wichita State forced 20 Saluki turnovers in the second meeting, a 61-58 win that came down to the final three minutes.

Wichita State comes off back-to-back losses to end the regular season, by 25 at second-seeded Northern Iowa and 16 at No. 19/top-seeded Drake. The Shockers scored a season-high 89 points against the Bulldogs, but gave up a season-high 105 points.

Here are three more things to know about today's meeting at the iWireless Center: 

No. 1 - SIU's basketball IQ against Wichita State's physicality

Both teams shot over 40 percent in the second meeting, but the biggest difference was SIU's 15 assists and 20 turnovers. Look for the Salukis to try to take advantage of the Shockers' in-your-face defense.

"They're a very good defensive team, but they leave spots open," SIU guard/forward Kylie Giebelhausen said. "We have to do a better job of reading the defense. They do a good job of denying, but sometimes we got a backdoor out of it, and we missed that a lot of times, whether we didn't throw it or we just missed the cut, in general."

SIU shot 41.1 percent from the field during the regular season. Wichita State's opponents are shooting 42.8 percent for the season, but the Shockers held four of their last six opponents to under 40 percent.

No. 2 - Rangie Bessard against Kim Nebo

Wichita State forward Rangie Bessard, the 2016 MVC newcomer of the year and a first team all-conference pick this season, has scored 10 points or more in 14 straight games. At 6-foot-1, she could present some problems for the Salukis if Kim Nebo gets in foul trouble.

Nebo, SIU's top rebounder and third-leading scorer, has had nine double-doubles this season. Nebo is 16 of her last 25 from the field over the last three games. 

No. 3 - SIU likes the 3, and can hit the 3

Point guard Rishonda Napier and Giebelhausen, SIU's two first team all-conference picks, love the 3, and the Salukis love it when they take them.

Napier already has SIU's career mark with 274 triples, 39 more than anyone else in school history, and averages 15.2 points per game against Wichita State for her career. Giebelhausen hit 7 3s earlier this season against the Shockers, one off the most for a player in the Valley this season.

Both made more than 65 3s this season for the Salukis. 

Opponents have not done well from behind the arc against Wichita State, however. Drake made 19 of 31, but the four previous opponents sank just 11 of 48 (23 percent). SIU is a combined 19 of 42 from 3 in its two games against the Shockers, 13 of 24 in the first meeting and 6 of 18 in the second.


On Twitter: @THefferman


Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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