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March 12, 2004

Eagles fall in NCAA II First round

Box Score

QUINCY, Ill.—No. 15-ranked Lake Superior State University had five players score in double figures as it handed the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team a 100-86 loss Friday in the first round of the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Tournament.

The Screaming Eagles jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead, but a three-pointer by freshman forward Monica Rehmann sparked the second-seeded Lakers to a 17-5 run.

LSSU (27-3) was able to break through USI’s press in the first half as the Lakers built their lead to 35-25 behind some impressive play from sophomore center Becky Marquardt-King. King scorched the Eagles in the first half by scoring 17 of her game-high 26 points in the first 20 minutes of the half.

“They (LSSU) played a fantastic ball game,” USI Head Coach Rick Stein said. “They controlled the tempo for most of the game and you have to credit them for the game they played.”

In turn, the Lakers forced USI into 15 first half turnovers as they took a 49-41 advantage into the locker rooms.

USI (20-10) got off to a great start behind some hot shooting from junior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) and senior forward Shajuan Lindsey (Midlothian, Illinois). The two combined for 11 of USI’s first 13 points as the Eagles jumped out to the quick lead.

Despite USI drawing even on the boards with LSSU, the Lakers were able to dominate the lane in the game. LSSU came out of the contest with a decided scoring advantage inside the paint, out-scoring USI 50-32.

USI could not get on any type of sustained run in the second half. Every time the Eagles would come up with a big play, the Lakers would answer with another.

“I never thought we were really in sync,” Stein said. “Not to take anything away from LSSU, but we didn’t seem to get on a get on a run or stay on one.

We tried to switch the defense up in the second half,” Stein continued. “Credit them (LSSU) for the big plays.”

The Lakers shot 56.5 percent from the field in the second half and built their lead to as many as 18 points before pulling out the 14-point win.

USI, which entered the tournament as the second seed, was led by Truitt, who finished with 20 points. Senior forward Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) finished with 18 points, while Lindsey finished with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lakers were led by King’s 26 points and senior forward/center Allyson Conaway’s 19 points. Rehmann finished the game with 17 points, including a pair of momentum-swinging three-pointers.

USI will turn to its off-season it losses just two seniors of this season’s squad. “Expectations are always high at USI,” Stein said in the post-game press conference. “We’ve always created a situation to compete for championships each year, whether it is the GLVC, regional, or NCAA championship.

“It feels good that we could make it to regional this year after not making it to the conference tournament last year,” Stein continued. “We have put USI’s program back on the map in the conference and the country.”

LSSU will face sixth-seeded Ashland University (23-7) in the NCAA II Great Lakes Tournament regional finals Saturday at 5 p.m. (CST). Ashland defeated third-seeded Ferris State University, 82-69, earlier on Friday.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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