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December 31, 2004

Stormont’s free throws clinch Eagles’ victory,
USI women win GLIAC/GLVC Holiday Classic

USI 82, Ferris State 81

MIDLAND, Mich.—University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball sophomore guard Leah Stormont (Haubstadt, Indiana) sunk a pair of free throws to clinch an 82-81 victory over Ferris State University Friday afternoon at the Bennett Sports Center.

The Screaming Eagles (10-2) win the GLIAC/GLVC Holiday Classic championship with the victory and wrap up their non-conference schedule with a 7-0 record.

Stormont, who entered the game having converted just one of two from the charity stripe on the season, converted the two free throws to give the Eagles an 82-78 advantage.

“I thought she had a great tournament for us,” Head Coach Rick Stein said of Stormont in his post-game interview with WSWI AM 820’s Bryan Schaeffer. “She didn’t score a lot of points, but she just does all the other things. She played some great defense in the first game and today she hits a couple big free throws right there at the end.”

The free throws proved to be the difference-maker as FSU’s Kristin Reinhart sunk a three-pointer with two seconds to play, cutting the USI lead to one-point. USI, however, got the ball in bounds and avoided any Bulldogs’ foul attempts as time ran out to win its sixth straight contest.

After taking a 40-36 lead into the locker room at the intermission, the Eagles found themselves trailing by six (69-63) with 7:29 to play in the game.

USI cut the FSU lead to one point with five minutes to play in the game and a pair of free throw’s by freshman guard/forward Marshay Jolly (Merrillville, Indiana) gave the Eagles a slim advantage just 14 seconds later.

Down by two with less than three minutes to play, senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) connected on her fourth three-pointer of the contest to give the Eagles a 75-74 lead. The Bulldogs tied the game at 76, with 1:27 to play in the game, before forward Andrea Engleking’s (Charlottesville, Indiana) free throws gave the Eagles the lead for good.

Truitt led the way for the Eagles with 19 points, while junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Indiana) scored 17 points in the victory. Brandon connected on her first three-pointer of the season to give the Eagles a 58-55 advantage in the second half.

Engleking finished the game with 14 points, while junior guard Tiara Brown (Normal, Illinois) and senior center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Brown dished out a team-high seven assists, while Nelson and Engleking collected a team-leading six rebounds.

“It was a total team effort,” Stein explained. “We needed everybody and I’m just real pleased and proud of my team right now because of the way they pulled together and fought at the end.”

FSU (3-8) was led by Bridget Horwitz and Reinhart. Each had 20 points, while Reinhart finished with a game-high nine assists and Horwitz finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.

USI will return to GLVC action January 6 when it hosts Bellarmine University at 5:15 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center. The Eagles host Northern Kentucky University January 8 at 1 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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