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Women's Basketball

February 19, 2005

Free throw shooting lifts USI women to victory

USI 82, Missouri-St. Louis 78

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Four players scored in double figures as the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 82-78, Saturday afternoon at the Mark Twain Building.

The Screaming Eagles (13-12, 6-12 GLVC) connected on an amazing 28 of 31 from the free throw as they put an end to a four-game skid and reached the 70-point plateau for the first time in 12 contests.

USI jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, but the Riverwomen battled back to take a 25-22 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Eagles used a 7-2 run later in the period to grab a 36-29 lead before going into the locker room with a 40-38 halftime advantage.

Senior center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) scored 10 of her 15 points in the opening period and junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) scored all nine of her points in the first half to lead the Eagles in the opening frame.

The Eagles traded baskets with the Riverwomen for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but a 12-5 run gave the Eagles a 72-64 lead with less than four minutes to play in the game.

UMSL (6-18, 2-15 GLVC) answered the Eagles run with a 9-0 spurt that put the Eagles in a slight deficit with two minutes to play.

After falling behind by one, the Eagles came right back, getting the ball down low to Nelson. The senior, who had been held in check in the second half, converted a three-point play to give the Eagles a 75-73 lead.

The Riverwomen came right back and tied the game on a pair of free throws by Courtney Watts, but a put back by USI junior forward Ashley Green (Otterbein, Indiana) gave the Eagles the lead (77-75) for good. Green finished the game with five points, all of which came in the second half, and a game-high eight rebounds.

USI, which shot 52.2 percent from the floor, got a huge second-half performance out of senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky). Truitt scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. Her performance moved her into a tie for 17th on USI’s all-time scoring list with 808 career points.

The Eagles, who out-rebounded the Riverwomen 34-28, also got big performances out of senior forward/center Andrea Engleking (Charlottesville, Indiana) and junior guard Tiara Brown (Normal, Illinois). Engleking finished the game with 16 points, while Brown chipped in 14 points and dished out a game-high five assists.

Three players scored in double-figures for the Rivewomen, led by Kali Birkey’s 17 points. Watts and Iesha Billups chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively.

USI, which moved into a tie for eighth in the GLVC standings with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will travel to Owensboro, Kentucky, and Thursday to take on Kentucky Wesleyan College, which is a half-game ahead of the Eagles for seventh in the league standings. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 5:15 p.m. at the Sportscenter.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information


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