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February 19, 2004

Eagles storm past SIU Edwardsville

Box Score

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.—Despite playing without the GLVC’s third-leading scorer, the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team stormed past Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 64-47, Thursday evening at the Vadalabene Center.

The Screaming Eagles (17-7, 10-7 GLVC) offset the loss of junior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky), who was injured earlier in the week during practice, by forcing the Cougars into 33 turnovers and holding the home team to 37.5 percent shooting from the field. USI turned those turnovers into 31 points.

“I was really proud of our effort, the execution, and the toughness we showed,” USI Head Coach Rick Stein said in his WSWI post-game interview. “We were the aggressors out there for most of the game and that is what you have to do on the road.

“This might have been one of our best defensive efforts of the year, if not our best,” Stein continued.

After a back-and-forth battle throughout the first 15 minutes of the opening period, USI used 13-2 run to pull away and claim a 31-23 halftime advantage. Junior guard Kennitra Johnson (New Albany, Indiana), who got the start in place of Truitt, started the run with a three-pointer that gave the Eagles a 21-19 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the half. Johnson finished the game with 11 points, seven of which came in the second half.

The Eagles rolled to a 15-point lead early in the second period after using a 9-2 run to open the closing half. USI dominated the paint in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 18-4 in the paint during the last 20 minutes, as it pushed its lead to as many as 19.

For the game, USI out-rebounded the Cougars 37-30 and claimed a 36-18 scoring advantage in the lane.

USI, which wrapped up no worse than the seventh seed in the GLVC Tournament, was led in the victory by senior forward Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana). Wells scored a game-high 18 points after connecting on all 12 of her free throw attempts, 10 of which came in the second period. She also collected a team-high six rebounds in her first start in three games.

Sophomore forward Ashley Green (Otterbein, Indiana) added 12 points, on 6-of-9 shooting, and grabbed five rebounds.

SIUE (10-15, 5-13 GLVC) was led by sophomore guard Amber Wisdom and sophomore center Tanya Guell. Wisdom scored a team-high 11 points, while Guell added 10 points. Freshman forward Julianne McMillen scored 10 points and collected a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Eagles, who moved into a tie for sixth in the GLVC with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will play their final regular-season road game of the season Saturday, February 21, when they travel to Romeoville, Illinois, to take on Lewis University in a 1 p.m. tip-off. Lewis (14-10, 11-6 GLVC) defeated Kentucky Wesleyan College, 74-59, Thursday evening in Romeoville.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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