December 09, 2007
Eagles run out of time in comeback bid,
Fall at home to Tusculum, 74-69
Tusculum (7-2): 74
at Southern Indiana (3-2): 69
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team could not overcome a sluggish first half effort as it fell to Tusculum College (Tennessee) 74-69 Sunday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center.
USI (3-2) committed 14 first-half turnovers, including eight in the first seven minutes of the game, as it fell behind by 18 midway through the first half. The Screaming Eagles shot just 38.7 percent from the floor in the opening frame as they went into the intermission facing a 43-28 halftime deficit.
Despite digging themselves into a first-half hole, the Eagles found themselves down by just three points with 11:31 remaining in the game, thanks to a 20-3 run that lasted seven minutes.
Tusculum (7-2), however, went on a 9-0 run later in the half to extend its lead to 12 points (62-50) with less than seven minutes on the clock.
Once again, the Eagles chipped away at the lead, cutting the deficit to three points (67-64) after a pair of Jasmine Baines'
(Jeffersonville, Indiana) free throws with just over a minute to play.
"We are proud of our effort late in the game," Head Coach Rick Stein
continued. "We did not give up and kept fighting and had a chance to win the game. We just ran out of time."
The Pioneers, which were 14-of-29 from the free throw line in the first 39 minutes of the game, went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the last minute to keep the Eagles at bay and clinch their fourth straight victory.
Junior guard Shantae Shank led the Pioneers with 20 points, while sophomore forward Stephanie Neptune added 14 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.
Baines led USI with 20 points, while sophomore guard VaNita Smart
(Evansville, Indiana) added 14 points and six rebounds. Junior forward/center Brittany Neuman
(Huntingburg, Indiana) finished with a career-high 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"We have to play better in the first 20 minutes of the game, especially against a quality team like Tusculum," Stein said. "We dug ourselves into too big of a hole and used all of our energy getting out of it.
"You cannot spot a team 20 points and expect to win," Stein continued. "Our starts have not been good in our last two games and that has got to get better."
USI returns to action Saturday when it hosts Central State University at the Physical Activities Center. Tip-off is slated for 5:15 p.m.
USI Sports Information