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March 01, 2003

USI women’s basketball falls in season finale

@University of Missouri-St. Louis (13-13 overall, 7-13 GLVC): 78
University of Southern Indiana (8-19 overall, 6-14 GLVC): 63

The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team suffered a season-ending 78-63 loss to the University of Missouri-St. Louis Saturday afternoon at the Mark Twain Building in St. Louis, Missouri. The loss puts an end to a disappointing season and means the Screaming Eagles will not get a chance to defend their Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Championships from the past two seasons. It is the first time the Eagles have not made the league’s post-season tournament.

USI (8-19 overall, 6-14 GLVC) shot a dismal 7-of-30 from field and committed 15 turnovers in the first stanza as it trailed 25-16 going into the break. Only four players scored for the Eagles in the first half, with senior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) leading USI with seven points.

The Eagles cut the lead down to six on three different occasions in the second half, but UMSL shot 55.6 percent (15-of-27) from the floor and visited the free throw line 27 times in the second half as they answered all of USI’s challenges.

Down by six with 10:59 left to play, the Eagles found themselves on the opposite end of an 11-2 run that gave the Riverwomen a 56-41 lead with less than nine minutes on the clock. The margin got even wider as UMSL sophomore guard Ebonie Halliburton connected on eight free throws in a 13-0 run that put USI into a 69-45 deficit.

USI got the lead back down to 13, but could not get any closer as the Riverwomen advanced to the post-season as the GLVC’s eighth seed at 13-13 overall and 7-13 in the GLVC.

For the game, senior guard/forward Sarah McIntosh (Cabery, Illinois) led the Eagles with a career and game-high 25 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Sherrod and junior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) each scored 11 points. McIntosh also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

Despite their troubles this year, the Eagles will head into the off season with reasons to smile. USI losses three seniors but will add NCAA Division I transfer guards Kennitra Johnson (New Albany, Indiana) and Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) as well as three newcomers that signed national letters of intent during the early signing period.

Dan McDonnell,
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