June 14, 2002
USI women’s basketball releases 2002-03 schedule
The Screaming Eagles women’s basketball team is hoping for another sweet season as it announces its 2002-03 schedule today. The Eagles will tip-off the preseason with an exhibition games at Indiana State University on November 16.
USI is striving for a third-straight sweet-16 appearance after posting a 27-6 overall record and a second straight Great Lakes Conference Tournament Championship. The Eagles also hosted the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional for only the second time in the program’s history last spring.
The regular season starts November 22-23 on the road at the Carson-Newman Tournament in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The Eagles will play Carson-Newman College, the host, on November 22 and Mars Hill College on November 23. Mars Hill was an Elite Eight participant last spring, falling to Division II National Champion California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.
In addition to the Carson-Newman Tournament, the non-conference schedule includes home games with Marian College on December 14 the University of Illinois-Springfield on December 17 and the hosting of the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge on December 28-29. In the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge, USI and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from the GLVC will host Ferris State University and Northwood University at the PAC.
USI also will play Great Lakes Regional power Michigan Tech University on December 20 in the upper-peninsula of Michigan.
The Eagles face one of the toughest Great Lakes Valley Conference schedules ever as the team plays four of the first six league games and four of the last six conference contests on the road. USI embarks on its quest for a GLVC title on November 30 at the Sportscenter in Owensboro, Kentucky, against Kentucky Wesleyan College.
The first GLVC home game is on December 5 against the University of Indianapolis. USI hosts Northern Kentucky University, Great Lakes Regional champion and 2002 Elite Eight team, on January 18. The USI Homecoming game is on February 1 when the Eagles host Quincy University.
Nearly all of the USI conference contests on Saturdays are afternoon starts this season (1:00 p.m. at the PAC) with the exception of the home game with KWC.
USI enters its fourth season under Head Coach Rick Stein, who has led the Eagles to a 55-10 record over the last two seasons. The Eagles have been to the NCAA Division II Tournament six times in the last eight seasons and won three of the five GLVC Tournaments.
Stein returns one of the top players in the GLVC in Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois), a junior forward who was first team All-GLVC and honorable mention All-American last season. Stuckman was the number one ranked scorer in the GLVC with 20.5 ppg.
Returning with Stuckman is senior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). Sherrod dropped in 11.2 points and grabbed 6.0 rebounds per contest as a junior.
New to the squad this season are freshman guard/forward Ashley Green (Oxford, Indiana) and junior guard/forward Latonya “Buffy” Graves (Mullins, South Carolina).
Green was selected All-Hoosier Conference in 2001 and 2002 at Benton Central High School. During her senior season, Green averaged 17 points per contest, shot 82 percent from the free throw line, and was the team leader in steals (72). She also finished second in field goal percentage, rebounds, blocks, and assists.
Graves was a member the 2001-02 NJCAA Region X championship team at Louisburg Junior College and averaged 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2001-02. She also shot 52 percent from the floor and recorded 1.9 assists per outing.