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January 16, 2003

USI defeats 20th-ranked Bellarmine

@University of Southern Indiana (6-9, 4-4 GLVC): 90
Bellarmine University (11-3, 6-1 GLVC): 72

University of Southern Indiana senior forward Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to lead the Screaming Eagles to a 90-72 victory over 20th-ranked Bellarmine University at the Physical Activities Center Thursday evening. USI raises its record to 6-9 overall and 4-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Bellarmine falls to 11-4 overall, 6-2 GLVC.

The 36-point game by Sherrod is the best individual performance by a USI player at the PAC since LeAnn Freeland scored 39 against Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne in 1996-97. Sherrod was a blistering 12 of 18 from the field, including two three-point field goals, and 10 of 11 at the charity strip to lead both team in the scoring column.

Sherrod was followed in the scoring column by junior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) with 18 points and sophomore center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) with 11 points.

The first half saw the lead change eight times, but the Eagles were able to build a 35-30 lead by the intermission. USI started the second half with a 10-2 run to build a 45-32 lead and extend the lead to 14 points at 54-40 with 14:44 to play.

The Knights fought there way back and narrowed the lead to four a 59-55 with a 15-4 runs with 10:11 to play in the game. The Eaglesí defense held firm and produce an 8-1 run that rebuilt the lead to 12 points at 67-55.

Bellarmine closed the gap again at 67-62 with 5:55 to play, but that is as close as they would get. USI closed out the game with a 23-10 run and an 18-point victory.

The Eagles shot an impressive 60 percent (21-35) from the field and outscored the Knights 55-42 in the second half. The 60 percent from the field was the second best half from the field for the Eagles this season. USI shot 62.1 percent from the field against Marian College back in December.

USI resumes GLVC action Saturday, January 18, when 22nd-ranked Northern Kentucky University comes to the PAC for a 1 p.m. contest. NKU won on the road Thursday evening at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 82-62, to raise its record to 11-3 overall, 7-2 GLVC.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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