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December 04, 2004

Truitt helps secure victory for Eagles,
Stein surpasses Waller for second on wins list

USI 71, SIU Edwardsville 59

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.—Senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) connected on four three-pointers, was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, and finished with a game-high 19 points as the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team held off Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 71-59, Saturday at the Vadalabene Center.

The Screaming Eagles (5-2, 2-2 GLVC) used a 19-2 run in the first half to take a 31-21 lead into intermission. USI trailed 17-12 early in the game before starting the run that put them up by 12 at one point in the opening period.

USI’s defensive pressure was a problem for the Cougars’ offense in the first period as the Eagles held SIUE to just 28 percent shooting and just 14.3 percent from behind the arc.

“We played great team defense,” Head Coach Rick Stein said in his post-game show with WSWI’s Jason Rucker. “When someone was beat, we did a great job of rotating to the ball and making it difficult on SIUE.”

In the second half, the Eagles increased their lead to 18 points, but the Cougars used a 14-4 run to cut the USI lead to 45-37.

After a long scoring drought that lasted more than three minutes, Truitt swung the momentum back into the Eagles favor with a rare four-point play. The three-pointer, followed by the ensuing free throw, put the Eagles up 49-37 with nine minutes to play in the game.

Truitt connected on all seven of her free throws in the second half to help the Eagles secure the win.

USI’s seniors made a big difference in the contest, as senior forward/centers Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) and Andrea Engleking (Charlottesville, Indiana) each finished with 10 points.

“This team has gone through a lot of adversity in the last four weeks with injuries and the different lineups,” Stein, who passes Ruth Waller into second place on the all-time USI women’s basketball win list with his 103rd career victory, explained. “I think our seniors stepped up today, but I think everyone stepped up and made a big difference.”

Chipping in to the Eagles scoring attack was junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois). Brandon finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Nelson finished with a team-high eight rebounds.

SIUE (3-4, 1-2 GLVC) was led by Tanya Guell and Julianne McMillen. Guell finished with 16 points, while McMillen had 10 points, all of which came in the second half.

USI will return home to face the University of Missouri-St. Louis Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. It will be USI’s last GLVC contest until January 6, when Bellarmine University visits the Physical Activities Center.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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