February 24, 2004
Eagles hoping to overcome injury bug,
Looking to finish regular season on winning note
Injuries have plagued the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team all season. The latest was an injury to its leading scorer, junior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky).
Now, the Screaming Eagles are just looking to get healthy as they enter the final two games of their 2003-04 regular-season schedule.
Despite playing at points of the season without three of their top four leading scorers, the Eagles find themselves in a battle for a berth in the NCAA II Tournament. USI (17-8, 10-8 GLVC) will get a shot to improve its chances as it hosts Saint Joseph's College Thursday, February 26, and the University of Indianapolis for Senior Day Saturday, February 28.
After dropping to ninth in the last regional rankings, it is conceivable that the Eagles could move back into the top eight, depending on strength of schedule index for both USI and other teams hanging on in the Great Lakes Region. The NCAA II Tournament is comprised of the top eight teams from each region.
One thing is sure the Eagles will be playing in the GLVC Tournament, which runs Thursday, March 4 through Saturday, March 7. If the Eagles, who have won six straight games at Roberts Stadium, the host site of the GLVC Tournament, can reel off three straight wins in early March, they will not have to put their fate in the hands of the NCAA II selection committee.
First, however, the Eagles will face a pair of teams to end the regular season that have handed them set backs earlier in the year.
Saint Joseph's (6-18, 3-15 GLVC) downed the Eagles, 73-67, in Rensselaer, Indiana, last month. The Pumas sport the GLVC's leading scorer in senior forward Heather Allen, who is averaging 17.0 points per game.
USI committed 34 turnovers and sent Saint Joseph's to the free throw line 41 times during its first meeting of the season with the Pumas.
Indianapolis (19-6, 13-5 GLVC), which is attempting to lock up at least a three seed in the GLVC Tournament, defeated the Eagles 71-68 in Indianapolis in early January. The Greyhounds, who will make a stop in Owensboro, Kentucky, to play Kentucky Wesleyan Thursday evening, have three players averaging in double-figures, led by junior guard Erin Moran's 13.5 points per contest.
The key for the Eagles, as stated earlier, will be to get Truitt back into their line up. She is third in the GLVC with 16.3 points per game and leads the GLVC with 2.91 made three-pointers per game.
Surrounding Truitt is senior forwards Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) and Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) as well as junior guard Kennitra Johnson (New Albany, Indiana). Wells is second on the team with 11.9 points per game, while Lindsey and Johnson are third and fourth, respectively, with 11.4 and 10.1 points per outing.
Wells and Lindsey will be honored prior to Saturday's 1 p.m. tip-off. Start time for Thursday's contest with SJC is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
USI Sports Information