January 19, 2008
Eagles fall despite solid second-half effort
at Bellarmine (13-6, 5-3 GLVC): 75
Southern Indiana (7-8, 2-5 GLVC): 68
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team overcame a 16-point first-half deficit to take a one-point lead midway through the second half, but in the end it was Bellarmine University that came out with a 75-67 victory over the Screaming Eagles Saturday evening.
USI (7-8, 2-5 GLVC), which falls below the .500 mark for the first time since the start of the 2005-06 season, found itself trailing 8-0 less than three minutes into the contest. The Eagles struggled from the floor in the first half, particularly in the first 17 minutes where they shot just 24.0 percent.
The Eagles, however, played solid defense throughout the opening 20 minutes and a 9-2 run to finish the half gave them a little momentum heading into the intermission as they trailed by just nine, 33-24, at the break.
After opening the second half with a 4-0 run, the Eagles found themselves on the opposite end of a 5-0 spurt that put the Knights up by double-digits with less than 18 minutes to play.
USI methodically and patiently worked away at the deficit before junior guard Brittany Darden
(Guthrie Kentucky) hit a jumper to give the Eagles a 45-44 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Bellarmine (13-6, 5-3 GLVC), however, answered with an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead and swing momentum back into its favor.
Trailing 60-51 with less than eight minutes to play in the game, the Eagles kept battling as they used a 7-1 run to cut the Knight's advantage to three points with four minutes remaining in the game. USI got to within a bucket on a pair of occasions but could not get any closer as Bellarmine senior center Katie Willinger scored six of her game-high 24 points in the final three minutes to help the Knights seal the eight-point victory.
Darden, along with senior forward Jasmine Baines
(Jeffersonville, Indiana) and senior guard Marshay Jolly
(Merrillville, Indiana) helped USI get back into the game in the second half. Baines, who finished with six rebounds, scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half, while Jolly and Darden combined for 17 second-half points.
Jolly finished the game with 13 points, four steals, and a career-high tying five assists, while Darden added 12 points. Sophomore guard VaNita Smart
(Evansville, Indiana) rounded out USI's double-figure scorers with 10 points, while freshman guard Amie Newhart
(Mulberry, Indiana) finished with five points, three assists, and a team-best seven rebounds.
The Eagles were whistled for 26 fouls, 14 more than their opponents, and had a pair of key players—Smart and junior forward/center Jessica Grimaldo
(Carmi, Illinois)—foul out of the contest late in the game.
USI also was out-rebounded in the contest, 44-40 marking the first time in 11 games the Eagles have not controlled the glass.
"We put ourselves in position to win two games this week, but when push came to shove we couldn't make the plays we needed to," Head Coach Rick Stein
said in his post-game interview with WSWI's Scott Ber<