December 17, 2008
Eagles coming back to the PAC,
Host Illinois-Springfield, Truman State
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—For the first time in nearly a month, the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team will get to play in the friendly confines of the Physical Activities Center Saturday when it hosts the University of Illinois-Springfield at 5:15 p.m.
The Screaming Eagles' contest with the Prairie Stars is the first of a six-game homestand that includes Truman State University (December 22), Wayne State University (December 29), Saint Joseph's College (January 2), the University of Indianapolis (January 4), and defending national champion and top-ranked Northern Kentucky University (January 8).
USI's match-up with Illinois-Springfield also is the first of many to come as the Prairie Stars will be a GLVC member beginning in 2009-10.
The Eagles (4-4) have not played since falling to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 75-67, on December 6 and are looking to stop a two-game skid that saw them fall to 0-2 in GLVC play.
USI jumped out to double-digit leads in both of its previous two contests only to see its advantages fall by the wayside in the second half.
Returning to the PAC, however, should help the Eagles get back on track. USI is 2-0 at the PAC this season and is averaging 83.5 points in those contests. Sophomore guard Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) leads the Eagles at the PAC with 16.5 points per game, while senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana) is chipping in 14.5 points and a team-high 11.5 rebounds in front of the home crowd.
For the season, Young leads USI and is 10th in the GLVC with 14.4 points per appearance, while Neuman is second in the league with a team-best 9.0 rebounds per game.
Illinois-Springfield (1-8) is led by senior guard Tiffany Sproat, who is averaging a team-high 10.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest. USI leads the all-time series with the Prairie Stars, 5-0, after last season's 90-50 victory at the PAC.
If the Eagles can get by the Prairie Stars Saturday, Head Coach Rick Stein will have the opportunity to tie former skipper Chancellor Dugan's all-time mark for wins (159) when the Eagles host Truman State Monday at 1 p.m.
Stein has collected 157 victories in his nine-plus seasons at the helm of the USI women's basketball program and was an assistant for all of Dugan's eight years at USI.
Truman State (2-6), which visits Lincoln University Wednesday night, is led by senior forward Georgia Mueller and junior guard/forward Laura Joya. Mueller leads the Bulldogs with 15.5 points per appearance and is second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game. Joya is chipping in 11.4 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per contest.
The all-time series between USI and Truman State is tied, 1-1, with each team picking up a victory on the opposing team's home court in the late 90s.
Monday's game with Truman State also will be part of the NCAA's Indiana Basketball Extravaganza—11 games in four days. The contest will be the first of three games that the NCAA's Howard Smith and Ryan Powell (from the Double-a-Zone, the official blog of the NCAA) will see on December 22, the final date of the four-day tour.
USI Sports Information