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December 30, 2004

Late run propels Eagles past Northwood,
Gives USI women fifth straight victory

USI 65, Northwood 58

MIDLAND, Mich.—Staked to a slim lead late in the game, the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team turned up the pressure and pulled out a 65-58 victory over Northwood University Thursday afternoon at the Bennett Sports Center in the first day of the GLIAC/GLVC Holiday Classic.

The Screaming Eagles (9-2) went on a 9-3 run to expand a three-point lead into a 60-51 advantage in a two-minute span to come away with their fifth straight victory.

“We knew it would be a battle coming into today’s game,” USI Head Coach Rick Stein said in his post-game interview with WSWI AM 820’s Bryan Schaeffer. “Northwood played extremely hard and defended their home court. We beat a good team today.”

USI struggled from the field, but made up for it by playing some tough defense. The Eagles forced 21 turnovers, 15 of which came in the second half.

“It was definitely a defensive battle,” Stein explained. “We shot 32 percent, they shot 30 percent. We shot 20 percent from behind the arc and they shot eight percent. It just goes to show you that if you guard, you’ve got a chance to be in a game and win a game.”

Junior point guard Tiara Brown (Normal, Illinois) came up big for USI on both ends of the court in the second half. She recorded all of her game-high six steals in the second half and came through on the offensive end to score 10 of her 13 points in the second period.

Senior forward/center Andrea Engleking (Charlottesville, Indiana) led the Eagles with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Indiana) chipped in 11 points. Engleking was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.

The first half saw both teams struggle from the field, with USI shooting 30.4 percent and the Timberwolves shooting 23.3 percent.

USI, however, came up with an 8-0 run late in the opening period to go into the break with a 27-24 lead. Neither team could grab a clear cut advantage in the first 30 minutes as the game saw nine lead changes, six of which came in the second period.

Northwood (5-6) fought back in the opening minutes of the second half to grab a 36-34 lead. It was the last lead the Timberwolves would posses as the Eagles eventually tied the contest and took a 38-36 lead with 11:26 to play.

Led by junior guard Maureen Elliott’s game-high 25 points, the Timberwolves got to within a point on three occasions. Brown, however, came through to score seven of USI’s final 12 points to seal the victory for the Eagles.

USI will play Ferris State University Friday at noon (CST). FSU (3-7) defeated Northern Kentucky 67-54 earlier on Thursday.

“We came up here to win the tournament and to do that, you have to go 2-0,” Stein said. “Ferris is a good team and their record doesn’t show it. They’ve played a Division I team (Western Kentucky) and have had some tough road games at North Dakota and South Dakota as well as Lake Superior State, all nationally ranked teams. It will be the same type of situation tomorrow as it was today.”

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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