December 31, 2008
Eagles return to league play,
Look to continue win streak
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team returns to GLVC play this weekend as it hosts Saint Joseph's College Friday at 5:15 p.m. and the University of Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center.
USI (7-4, 0-2 GLVC) is coming off a historic 80-75 victory over Wayne State University Monday night and has won three straight games, all of which were in the friendly confines of the PAC. The win over Wayne State Monday night marked Head Coach Rick Stein's 160th career win at the helm of the Screaming Eagles, the most by any coach in the history of the USI women's basketball program.
The Eagles also have maintained perfect record in five games at the PAC and are looking to see that success continue as they start the second part of their current six-game homestand. "We are at home and we have something going," Stein said. "Everything we've done so far, though, means nothing to the league. We've got to refocus on conference play.
"We had a tough road trip a few weeks ago and coming back home, we have to take care of business," Stein continued. "There are no easy games in this conference, there never has been, and St. Joseph's won't be an easy one either."
USI has relied on a balanced scoring attack that has seen seven different players lead it in scoring this year. The latest player to post a team-high for the Eagles this season was freshman guard Rinesha Soaper (Henderson, Kentucky), who tallied a career-high 26 points in USI's win over Wayne State.
Collectively, the Eagles have six players averaging 8.5 points per game or better, with sophomore guards Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) and Lauren Meneghetti (Munster, Indiana) leading the team with 13.0 and 11.5 points per contest, respectively.
Senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana) leads the Eagles and is second in the GLVC with 8.1 rebounds per appearance.
Saint Joseph's (0-10, 0-2 GLVC), which has not played an upper classman this season, enters the PAC with the leagues' top rebounder in freshman center Erica Jiles, who is averaging 7.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per outing. Freshman guard Erica Blythe leads the Pumas with 14.3 points per game, while freshman guard Britney Cruse is chipping in 12.3 points per appearance.
USI leads the all-time series, 28-23, and is 12-3 against the Pumas since 2000 after last season's 72-24 victory at the PAC.
The Eagles trail the all-time series with Indianapolis, 30-24, after falling to the Greyhounds, 63-56, at the PAC last season. Indianapolis, which is under the direction of USI and GLVC Hall of Famer LeAnn Freeland '97, leads the series, 9-5, since 2000.
The Greyhounds (12-2, 1-1 GLVC), which qualified for the NCAA II Tournament last year, have won four straight games, but have not played since December 22. Sophomore forward Samantha Meissel and junior guard Jessica Canary lead the Greyhounds, who visit Kentucky Wesleyan College Friday evening.
Meissel is averaging 17.1 points per game, while Canary is chipping in 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per appearance.
USI Sports Information