February 09, 2002
#7 Eagles survive late Lewis surge
#7 University of Southern Indiana (19-5 overall, 12-4 GLVC): 79
@ Lewis University (7-15 overall, 4-12 GLVC): 74
The seventh-ranked University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team survived a late surge by Lewis University to notch a 79-74 victory over the Flyers this afternoon in Romeoville, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles improve to 19-5 overall, 12-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while the Flyers of Lewis fall to 7-15 overall and 4-12 in the GLVC.
USI jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead early in the first half to take command of the game. The Eagles missed their first four shots of the period, but rebounded by making four of their next five including a pair of threes by senior guard Jasmine Moore (Chicago, Illinois) and junior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida).
The Eagles connected on five shots from behind the arc in the first frame and were 15-of-36 (41.7 percent) as they went into the locker room with a 40-30 halftime lead. USI limited the Flyers to 11-of-25 shooting from the floor in the first stanza and forced 13 turnovers.
Moore led the Eagles with 10 points in the first half while Sherrod poured in nine of her 12 points in the first frame.
Lewis turned the table on the Eagles in the second period, scoring the first six points and narrowing the gap to four with 17:02 to play in the contest. USI answered the run with a 5-0 run of its own, enlarging its lead to 45-36.
Sophomore forward Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois) contributed seven consecutive points in an 8-0 run that gave USI a 13-point lead with 12:13 to play. Stuckman, who battled foul trouble, finished with 15 points and six rebounds, tying Jasmine Moore for the team-lead in scoring.
“Whenever Lewis made a run, it seemed like we made a run right back at them,” Head Coach Rick Stein said. “We have to weather the storms and then push forward. I thought we did that today.
“Lewis gave us everything they had and that was the best I have seen that team play,” Stein said, “They made shot-after-shot. It was a great ball game and I am proud of the way our team played down the stretch.”
Down by 12 with 4:24 to go in the contest, Lewis reeled off a 12-2 run to close the USI lead to 76-74 with 1:14 to play in regulation.
USI shot just 32.3 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded 26-16 in the second period. However, a 16-of-19 performance from the charity stripe, in the second half, kept the Eagles afloat.
“When you are down by 15, the shots become easier,” Stein explained. “You’ve got nothing to loose and your just trying to get back into the game. They got some momentum and some emotion because they had a couple of kids knock down a couple of long threes.
“They are number one in the league in offensive rebounding for a reason.” Stein said of Lewis. “I thought that in the first half we did a good job, we held them to five, but in the second half they ended up with 11 and that is why they made the run that they did. They got more second shots and made us pay for those.”
Lewis had a chance to tie the game on two different occasions in the final minute of the contest, but a pair of defensive stands, an Africa Sherrod free throw, and a pair of free throws by Jasmine Moore sealed the win for the Eagles.
“We got some big defensive rebounds, we got some stops when we needed them, and made we made our free throws down the stretch to pick up the win,” Stein explained.
Senior forward Casey Hughes (Bicknell, Indiana) tapped into the Eagle offense with 12 points. Hughes tied Stuckman for the team-lead with six rebounds while dishing out a team-high five assists.
The Flyers were led by sophomore forward Bryanne Callahan, who scored a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Callahan led five players that scored in double figures for Lewis.
USI will return home for the final time of the regular season this Thursday, February 14, and Saturday, February 16.<