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Women's Basketball

December 28, 2001

Eagles extend home win-streak to 20,
Look crisp in 33-point blowout over Illinois-Springfield

@ #10 University of Southern Indiana (10-3): 89
University of Illinois-Springfield (7-9): 56


The 10th-ranked University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team extended its home winning-streak to 20 games with an 89-56 victory over the University of Illinois-Springfield this evening at the Physical Activities Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles, who had not played since December 18, raised their record to 10-3 on the season while the Prairie Stars fall to 7-9 overall.

USI jumped used two 8-0 runs, a 10-0 run, and a 7-0 run to take a commanding 35-6 lead halfway through the first period. The Eagles connected on 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) shots from the floor during that stretch.

“We only had a couple of days to prepare for the game tonight,” Head Coach Rick Stein said, “I liked the way we came out. We were intense, we were aggressive, and we had contributions from everybody.”

The Eagles shot 51.2 percent from the floor and forced the Prairie Stars into 17 turnovers as they went into the locker rooms with a 50-23 halftime lead. Sophomore forward Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois) scored 20 of her game-high 30 points in the first stanza.

“The team had a whole week off, so we knew we couldn’t come out slow,” Stuckman explained. “We had to come right back and get ready to do things. We had two days of practice and we worked hard.

“I think this game is going to build into the Ferris State game,” Stuckman continued. “We needed to play here and then be able to take it on the road. We need to be able to play harder on the road and get better on the road.”

USI kept up the intensity in the second half as it shot 55.6 percent from the floor and held UIS to just 35.5 percent. For the game, the Eagles shot 52.9 percent from the floor and held the Prairie Stars to just 31.0 percent shooting.

“We wanted to keep our intensity and our emotion,” Stein explained. “We are not worried about the other team. We just want to take care of our business and I think that’s with anybody we play. Our intensity was high and we wanted to keep it that way.”

Senior forward Casey Hughes (Bicknell, Indiana) contributed 12 points and was two-of-four from three-point land. “Our mentality was the same as it was when we played the last game (Northern Michigan),” Hughes said. “We wanted to come out strong and we did.”

Junior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) tapped in with 10 points and six rebounds while senior center Michelle Irwin (Louisville, Kentucky) with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Eagles will travel to Big Rapids, Michigan this Sunday to take on regional foe Ferris State University in a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off. USI will return home Thursday, January 3 as it hosts rival Kentucky Wesleyan College. That game is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at the PAC.

“We’re taking it one day at a time and we wanted to get better today and I think we did,” Stein explained. “Obviously Ferris is a great team and they were ranked higher than us in that first regional poll. We’re looking for that as a chance to prove ourselves a little bit and hopefully move up in the regional rankings."

Dan McDonnell,
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