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December 19, 2002

Eagles set for important regional battle up north

The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team is making its final preparations for an important three-game stretch, which starts this Friday, December 20, when the Screaming Eagles travel to Houghton, Michigan, to take on Michigan Tech University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game can be heard by logging onto and clicking on the WSWI logo.

After dropping four of their first five games, the Eagles have put together a three-game winning streak to draw to .500 (4-4) for the first time this season. The streak has seen the Eagles shoot 53.0 percent from the field and average 91.3 points per game.

“Our offense and our feel each other has picked up over time,” head coach Rick Stein said. “We are starting to know each other better and we are starting to fit roles better. We know who is going to do what at certain times out there.”

USI will look to use that offensive momentum as it heads into its match-up with Michigan Tech, a team the Eagles defeated a year ago, 95-79. The Huskies, which lost their first two games of the season, enter the contest with a 4-4 record.

“Any kind of win against their conference (GLIAC) is going to help us as a program,” Stein explained. “Michigan Tech has a great program and a great coach so a win against that team would do a lot for us as far as the rest of the year is concerned.

“Michigan Tech is one of the premier teams in the GLIAC,” Stein continued. “All we have left is regional games and it starts with Michigan Tech. We are looking forward to that challenge and the opportunity it presents.”

If recent history is a gage of how USI will fare in Michigan, the Eagles might be able to smile. USI is 4-2 all-time against the Huskies and has won five straight games in the state of Michigan, including two regional championships.

For the Eagles to be successful, they will need more of the same production they have seen out of senior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and junior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois). Sherrod has posted a school-record seven straight double-doubles and is averaging 14.9 points to go along with a team-high 11.4 rebounds per game. Lindsey is pouring in a team-high 15.3 points per game and is coming off a season-best 25-point, eight-rebound performance against the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Leading the way for Michigan Tech is junior forward Andrea Novak and senior guard Annie Madden. Novak is averaging a team-high 18.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while Madden is dishing out a team-high 4.0 assists to go along with 11.6 points per contest.

“We have to get in some people’s faces and be prepared to stop some people,” Stein explained. “I think we have definitely been doing that and we are doing good job of controlling the defensive end.”

Dan McDonnell,
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