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January 24, 2004

Late bucket hands Eagles first home loss

Box Score

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Southern Illinois University Edwardsville senior guard Jessica Robert hit a bucket with 3.6 seconds remaining in regulation to defeat the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team, 75-73, Saturday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center. It is the first time the Screaming Eagles have lost at home in 10 games and the first time in 2003-04.

After a seesaw first half that saw six lead changes and the scored tied 10 different times, the Eagles (12-5, 6-5 GLVC) used a 10-1 run to propel them to a 39-34 halftime lead over the visiting Cougars.

The Eagles shot 55.6 percent from the floor in the first half, but 12 turnovers and an 18-14 disadvantage on the boards kept the Cougars into the contest. For the game, the Cougars dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Eagles 36-24.

“They were physical and they moved us out,” USI Head Coach Rick Stein said. “They played hard and they wanted the ball more.”

SIUE (9-10, 4-8 GLVC) opened the second stanza with a 6-0 run and grabbed a 40-39 lead before a bucket by senior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois) gave the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish for the next seven minutes of the contest.

USI, however, could not build a lead any larger than four points during that time span as some scrappy play by SIUE held the Cougars into the contest. “We were playing to be close and to see if we could win it in the end and it wasn’t good enough,” Stein stated.

The Cougars tied the contest with just over 10 minutes remaining and then went on a 15-1 run. SIUE held the Eagles without a field goal for nearly six minutes as the Cougars scored 13 straight points to take a commanding 71-61 lead with under four minutes to play.

Down by 10 with less than three minutes to play, the Eagles turned to junior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) to jump start a 12-0 run that lifted the them to a 73-71 lead with 1:35 remaining in regulation.

Truitt scored seven of USI’s 12 points during the run, including a 3-pointer that gave the Eagles the two-point lead. She finished the game as one of three USI players to score 15 points.

After SIUE tied the contest at 73, the Eagles had a chance to take the lead with less than a minute remaining in the contest. However, the Cougars forced the Eagles to turn the ball over inside the paint, which set up the winning bucket.

“Edwardsville had a good game plan,” Stein explained. “They came in and played good basketball and just flat beat us.”

In addition to Truitt, Lindsey and sophomore forward Ashley Green (Otterbein, Indiana) also scored 15 points, while Lindsey finished with a game-high tying seven rebounds. The 15 points is a career-high for Green.

Freshman point guard Lauren Parrish (Shepherdsville, Indiana) added 11 points, while junior guard Kennitra Johnson (New Albany, Indiana) tapped in nine points.

For the game, the Eagles shot 52.0 percent as a team. It marks the first time in Stein’s tenure at USI that the Eagles have shot 50 percent or better and lost.

“We turned the ball over 20 times so we didn’t get a lot of shots at the goal,” Stein explained. “We played their basketball game today they made us play SIUE basketball. It was a total team loss.”

SIUE was led by Robert, who tallied a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Freshman forward Julianne McMillen added 16 points, while sophomore center Tanya Guell and sophomore guard Amber Wisdom recorded 15 and 11 points, respectively.

USI will return to action with a trip to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Thursday, January 29, and to St. Joseph’s College Saturday, January 31.

“The key for us is that we have to get back on the same page,” Stein said. “I don’t know how we lost it in a matter of 24 hours, but we just did not have the same intensity and enthusiasm that we have had in t<

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