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January 02, 2003

USI women’s basketball drops fourth straight

@Lewis University (6-5 overall, 2-3 GLVC): 78
University of Southern Indiana 4-8 overall, 2-3 GLVC): 68

The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team lost its fourth straight game, falling to Lewis University, 78-68, Thursday evening at the Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles fall to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while the Flyers improve to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in the GLVC.

USI overcame an eight-point deficit late in the first half to go into the locker room with a 35-34 halftime lead. The Eagles shot just 37 percent from the floor but connected on 3-of-5 shots from behind the arc and 12-of-15 from the free throw line as they went into the break with the one-point advantage.

After a three-pointer by junior guard/forward Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana), the USI found itself up by four early in the second stanza. However, a 10-2 run put the Flyers up 44-40, with 16:12 to play, and in the lead for the remainder of the game. The Eagles shot 41.4 percent in the second period, but were bested by a blistering 56.0 percent second-half shooting performance by Lewis.

“We made a great run to end the first half (16-7) but we could not carry it over into the second half,” head coach Rick Stein said.

USI brought the lead down to within two points on two occasions and trailed by just three with 4:26 to play in regulation. However, Lewis’s junior forward Bryanne Callahan and senior forward Faith Smith recorded a pair of lay-ups to put the Flyers up by seven (69-62) with 2:42 remaining.

“We missed some shots down the stretch, but you have to give Lewis the credit.” Stein explained. “They (Lewis) have not lost at home for a reason. They made a lot of plays down the stretch and really played well throughout the game.”

Senior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) went 5-of-11 from the floor and connected on 10-of-12 free throws to lead USI with 21 points. Sherrod’s six-rebound performance snapped a streak of 10 straight outings with double-digit rebounds.

Wells followed Sherrod with a season-high 17 points while junior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) recorded a team-high seven rebounds. Senior guard Bethany Miller (Princeton, Indiana) recorded three assists, putting her in the top five all-time at USI in career assists (292).

Senior guard Kari Wong led Lewis’s attack with a game-high 25 points and six assists. “Kari Wong played a great game for Lewis,” Stein said. “She made some plays throughout the game that really hurt us.”

Smith and Callahan stepped up with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Both recorded a game-high eight rebounds.

The Eagles will travel to Edwardsville, Illinois, this Saturday, January 4, to take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Tip-off is slated for a 1 p.m. start.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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