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February 08, 2003

Calhoun’s buzzer-beater lifts Eagles past Panthers

@University of Southern Indiana (7-14 overall, 5-9 GLVC): 70
Kentucky Wesleyan College (5-16 overall, 2-12 GLVC): 68

Sophomore guard Amber Calhoun (Evansville, Indiana) hit a running shot down the lane as time ran out to lift the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team to a 70-68 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan College Saturday evening at the Physical Activities Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles improve to 7-14 overall and 5-9 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while the Panthers fall to 5-16 overall and 2-12 in the GLVC.

USI shot 48.0 percent in the first period, but could not shake off a feisty KWC team that forced the Eagles into 15 first-half turnovers. Junior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) scored 12 of her 13 points in first half to help the Screaming Eagles grab a 33-30 lead going into the break.

The Eagles stormed out of the gates in the second period. USI went on a 12-2 run to open the frame and take a commanding 45-32 lead.

Senior guard/forward Sarah McIntosh (Cabery, Illinois) knocked down two of her five second-half three-pointers to get the Eagles going in the second period. “I came out and just got my shot,” McIntosh explained. McIntosh finished with a game-high 18 points.

Up 59-44 with 11:33 to go in regulation, the Eagles found themselves on the short end of an 11-0 run that put the Panthers to within four with 8:23 to play.

Another McIntosh shot from long range found the bottom of the net to give the Eagles a 65-57 lead with 5:23 remaining. “We were running plays for her (McIntosh) in the second half,” USI head coach Rick Stein said. “She is a streaky shooter and has been all year. She was hot today, especially in the second half.

“The way she came into the game today, her focus and her attitude, really carried down to the rest of the team,” Stein continued.

Little did the Eagles know that the three-pointer would be USI’s last field goal until Calhoun’s shot at the buzzer.

With 20 seconds remaining, KWC’s Megan Morton went to the line to possibly give KWC a one-point advantage. However, Morton made just one of her two free throws to tie the game at 68.

After a KWC timeout, the Eagles came down the court, but it looked as if time was going to run out without them getting a shot off. However, with four seconds remaining, Calhoun drove the lane and kissed the ball off the backboard to give USI its first victory in six tries.

“When coach (Stein) put me in during that last timeout, I felt like he believed in me so I had to believe in myself,” Calhoun explained. “(Meghann) Schenk got the ball to me with four seconds left and I knew I had to go to the basket and get a foul or something.”

Calhoun finished with just four points, but none were bigger than the last two.

“Amber has played well the last couple of weeks,” Stein said of Calhoun. “We were running a play out there but at the same time you have to make something out of that play. She got the ball up top and had a chance to get something going to the basket. Amber did it, made a good shot, and finished the game.”

Looking around in the huddle during the last timeout, Stein sensed that his team would pull it out. “I looked around (during the timeout) and the looks in their faces were that the game was ours,” Stein said. “I did not see any scared faces. It was all ‘we are going to get it done, we are going to make the play.’”

The Eagles will hit the road this Thursday, February 13, and Saturday, February 15, to take on Northern Kentucky University and the University of Indianapolis.

“Winning is an attitude and we won today,” Stein explained. “We had a great week of practice and it carried into today. We have to carry it into next week.”

Dan McDonnell,
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