February 18, 2004
Eagles looking sharp for final road trip
After winning three of its last four games and climbing to seventh in last week's NCAA II Great Lakes Regional rankings, the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team is finally starting to gain some momentum heading into its final regular-season road trip of 2003-04.
The Screaming Eagles (16-7, 9-7 GLVC) have not only been winning, they have been winning big. It started with a 27-point blowout of conference rival Northern Kentucky University and, after an eight-point setback to surging Bellarmine University, the Eagles recorded a 15-point victory over regional foe Wayne State University and a 27-point thumping of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
In the month of February, the Eagles have averaged 88.3 points per game and have posted an average winning margin of 15.2 points per contest.
USI's resurgence could not have come at a better time as it finds itself in seventh place in the GLVC standings, but just a game out of fourth place. The Eagles will get their chance to move up in the standings Thursday and Saturday, when they travel to Edwardsville, Illinois, to take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Romeoville, Illinois, to take on Lewis University.
USI's junior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) and senior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) will lead the charge for the Eagles, who clinched a spot in the GLVC Tournament last week. Truitt, who earned GLVC "Player of the Week" honors for her performances last week, is third in the GLVC in scoring at 16.3 points per game.
Truitt also leads the league in made three-pointers per game (2.91) and is third in the league with an 84.6 shooting percentage from the charity stripe. She needs 10 three pointers to break the school-record three-pointers in a single season (76-Deb Pope, 1995-96).
During USI's hot streak, Truitt is averaging 20.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. She is shooting a blistering 52.8 percent (19-36) from behind the arc in USI's last four games.
Lindsey, who is tied with fellow classmate Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) for second on the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game, is averaging 14.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in USI's last four contests. For the season, Lindsey leads the GLVC in free throw shooting percentage (.904, 47-52).
SIU Edwardsville (10-14, 5-12 GLVC) is in a fight for the eighth and final spot in the GLVC Tournament. Currently, the Cougars, who beat the Eagles by a bucket (75-73) at the Physical Activities Center a month ago, hold the eighth spot by 1 ½ games over Missouri-St. Louis and Saint Joseph's College.
SIUE is led by senior guard Jessica Robert and sophomore center Tanya Guell. Robert is averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game, while Guell is chipping in 13.6 points per outing. Freshman forward Julianne McMillen is averaging 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Lewis enters its game against Kentucky Wesleyan College Thursday evening with a 13-10 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the GLVC. The Flyers, who fell to the Eagles, 86-76, in early January, are led by four players that average in double-figures.
Freshman forward Darcee Schmidt and sophomore guard Shante Glenn lead the Flyers with 15.0 and 11.9 points per game. Schmidt is tied for the team lead with 5.1 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Brittney Diener leads the team with 3.9 assists per game.
Tip-off for Thursday's USI-SIUE game is 5:30 p.m., while Saturday's USI-Lewis contest is slated for a 1 p.m. start. The Eagles will close out their regular-season schedule with Saint Joseph's College Thursday, February 26, and the University of Indianapolis Saturday, February 28. Both of those games are at the PAC.
USI Sports Information