February 03, 2009
Eagles have tough challenge ahead,
Host Quincy and Drury this weekend
EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team faces its toughest challenge to date when it hosts Quincy University Thursday at 5:15 p.m. and Drury University Saturday at 1 p.m. Saturday's game is Homecoming for the Screaming Eagles.
Both Quincy and Drury sit atop the GLVC West Division standings and have combined to win 11 straight games. "They are both playing great basketball and are two of the hottest teams in the league," Head Coach Rick Stein, who is looking for his 100th career victory at the Physical Activities Center, said. "Quincy has put together eight straight wins and has beaten some very good teams along the way."
USI (11-8, 4-6 GLVC) has won three of its last four games and is coming off its first-ever victory over Missouri University of Science and Technology. "The positive thing is that I think we are playing well," Stein said. "I think we've played good basketball the last couple of weeks and that's where you want to be when you play two good teams at home."
The Eagles have gotten a big boost from sophomore guard Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) and senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana). Young has averaged 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in USI's last five games, while Neuman is averaging 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in the Eagles' last three contests.
"Brittany has really played well the last few weeks," Stein said. "She has really hit a comfort zone for us on both ends of the court.
"Ellen is a player that you talk about making baskets, but she brings more than that to a game," Stein continued. "She's somebody that can make the rest of our players better and she has done that as well as been able to defend and rebound."
For the season, Young leads the Eagles with 13.9 points per contest, while Neuman is chipping in 8.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per appearance. Sophomore guard Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana) is second on the team with 10.2 points per game.
USI and Quincy are knotted at 16 wins apiece in the all-time series, but the Hawks hold a 13-6 advantage since 2000 after sweeping the season-series a year ago. Quincy won 69-64 at the PAC before defeating the Eagles 89-59 in Quincy, Illinois, later in the season.
Quincy (18-3, 10-1 GLVC), which defeated Bellarmine University 93-92 Monday night, is led by senior guard Jessica Keller, who leads the GLVC in scoring (19.2 ppg) and steals (4.1 spg). Keller also ranks second in the conference in assists (4.5 apg) and is ninth in the conference in rebounding (6.9 rpg).
Saturday's game will be USI's second attempt at playing Drury after its first attempt was thwarted due to last week's ice storm. The Panthers lead the all-time series with the Eagles, 5-1, after sweeping the season series in 2007-08. Drury defeated USI, 79-65, in Springfield, Illinois, before posting a 72-57 win at the PAC.
Drury (14-6, 8-2 GLVC), which visits Rockhurst University Thursday evening, has won three straight games after defeating the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 80-71, last Saturday. Junior guard/forward Lindsay Ballweg leads the Panthers with 14.1 points per contest, while junior forward/center Melanie Oliver is chipping in 12.4 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per appearance.
In addition to Homecoming, the USI Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be recognized prior to the men's game Saturday. The 2009 induction class includes John Hollinden ‘83 (men's basketball); Eileen Weber '98 (women's basketball); Elly Rono '98 (cross country/track); Jim Nolan (cross country/track); Jim Brown (head coach baseball, men's and women's golf); Chancellor Dugan (head coach women's basketball); and the 1995 Men's Basketball National Championship Team.
USI Sports Information