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November 28, 2004

USI women’s basketball edges Saint Joseph’s,
Stein ties Waller for second on wins list

USI 79, Saint Joseph's 77

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team had a 22-point lead in the first half but it came down to a blocked shot by senior forward/center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) for the Screaming Eagles to hang on to a 79-77 victory over Saint Joseph’s College Sunday at the Physical Activities Center.

It marks the 102nd victory for Head Coach Rick Stein, who ties former coach Ruth Waller for second all-time at USI in career victories.

USI (4-1, 1-1 GLVC) forced 17 first-half turnovers and shot 48.5 percent from the floor as it built a 45-23 lead with two minutes to play in the opening period. The Eagles busted the game wide open when they went on a 21-3 run that lasted more than six minutes of the first half.

SJC (2-3, 1-1 GLVC), however, gained some momentum by closing the first half with an 8-2 run to cut the USI lead to 16 (45-29) at the break.

The Pumas used that momentum in the second period as they shot 55.2 percent from the floor and got to the free throw line 20 times.

USI found itself on the end of an 8-0 run and a 9-0 run that got the Pumas to within a point with just under nine minutes to play in the game. The Pumas took their first lead, since the opening stages of the game, a minute later when freshman guard Allison Hughes scored two of her game-high 24 points.

Hughes was a problem for the Eagles the entire game as she drained five shots from behind the arc.

With the score tied at 68 and just over two minutes to play in regulation, junior point guard Tiara Brown (Normal, Illinois) stepped up with a huge three-pointer to give the Eagles a slight edge. Senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) added two more three-pointers to give the Eagles a 77-71 lead with 1:20 remaining in the game.

Still, the Pumas fought back, using a three-pointer by junior guard Ashley Hughes to cut the Eagle lead to two with four seconds to play in the game. A turnover gave the Pumas a chance to tie or win the game, but Nelson blocked a would-be winning shot from three-point range by SJC’s Julia LaBlanc to seal the victory.

Senior forward/center Andrea Engleking (Charlottesville, Indiana) led the Eagles with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Truitt and Nelson finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Nelson had seven rebounds, while freshman forward Jessica Minnick (Carmi, Indiana) had a team-high eight rebounds to go with eight points.

Brown finished with 12 points, seven assists, and five steals.

SJC got 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds from senior center Courtney Rosenbaum, while Ashley Hughes finished with eight points and a game-high eight assists.

The Eagles will travel to Romeoville, Illinois, to take on Lewis University Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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