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Women's Basketball

March 08, 2002

Late run propels Eagles to NCAA II Great Lakes Regional final

@#4 University of Southern Indiana (27-5): 84
Hillsdale College (23-8): 63

The fourth-ranked University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team used a 24-5 run in the last seven minutes of the game to defeat Hillsdale College, 84-63, in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament at the Physical Activities Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles, who entered with the top seed in the tournament, improve to 27-5 and advance to the championship game while the Chargers finish with a 23-8 record.

After committing 15 first half turnovers, the Eagles went into the locker room clinging to a slim 35-32 halftime lead. USI shot 46.2 percent and out-rebounded Hillsdale 21-16 in the first frame, but a lack of shots—by USI standards—kept the Eagles from putting together any big runs.

The second half found USI were it had left off in the first as it struggled to put separation between it and the fourth-seeded Chargers.

Down by three with 10:38 to go in the contest, senior guard Jasmine Moore (Chicago, Illinois) connected on one of her three 3-point field goals to tie the game at 52. Another bucket by Moore gave USI a 54-52 lead.

Up by two, USI reeled off 10 consecutive points to give it a comfortable 70-58 lead with five minutes to play. The Eagles kept the pressure on as they allowed just one field goal in the final seven minutes of the contest.

USI shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the second stanza and turned the ball over just three times as it captured its 27th win of the season—the third most in team-history.

Moore scored 15 of her game-high tying 21 points in the second period. She finished with a game-high eight assists and six steals.

Sophomore forward Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois) quietly put together 21 points, 12 of which came in the second half, while grabbing eight rebounds. Senior forward Michelle Irwin (Louisville, Kentucky) tapped into the USI scoring attack with 16 points and grabbed a game and career-high 13 rebounds.

Junior guards Stephanie Hied, Jen Newsone, and Amanda Vriesenga led Hillsdale in the loosing effort. Hied finished with a team-high 17 points while Newsone and Vriesenga tapped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

USI will await the winner of third-seeded Northern Kentucky University and second-seeded Lake Superior State University. Tomorrow night’s regional championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center. If NKU makes it, it would mark the fourth time USI and NKU have met this season.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information
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