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January 20, 2005

USI women’s basketball pulls out victory,
Stops four-game skid

USI 63, SIU Edwardsville 60

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Junior point guard Tiara Brown (Normal, Illinois) and junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) came through in a big way, leading the University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team to a 63-60 victory over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Thursday evening at the Physical Activities Center.

The win stops a four-game losing streak for the Screaming Eagles and marked the first time this season that USI has won a game when trailing at the half. The Eagles went into the intermission trailing 30-28.

Down 60-59 with 34 seconds to play in the game, the Eagles turned to Brown for a clutch shot. After a series of passes, Brown dribbled left of the key and pulled up for a 15-foot jumper that gave the Eagles a one-point lead with 18 seconds to play in the game. Brown finished with 10 points and four assists.

USI (11-6, 4-6 GLVC), which led by nine with less than five minutes to play, came up with a big defensive stand that forced SIUE’s Alisa Carrillo to take a shot from just inside the free throw lane. Carrillo’s shot bounced off the front of the rim and into Brandon’s hands.

Brandon, who was fouled after the rebound, connected on a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 63-60 lead with seven seconds to play in the contest. Brandon finished the game with 15 points and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line. The Eagles were 9-of-10 as a team from the free throw line.

The Eagles’ defense, which held the Cougars to just 29 percent shooting in the second period, did not let the Cougars get a clean look at a three-pointer in the closing seconds as it forced SIUE’s freshman guard Whitney Sykes’s tying attempt to sail wide of the bucket as time ran out on the clock.

Led by senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky), the Eagles shot 54.2 percent from the field in the second half and 38.2 percent for the game. Truitt, who was 8-of-14 from the field, connected on six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points.

Sykes and Carillo led the Cougars with 16 and 15 points, respectively. SIUE, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, falls to 9-9 overall and 4-5 in the GLVC.

USI will host Quincy University Saturday at 1 p.m. The Hawks (11-6, 8-2 GLVC) defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 79-57, Thursday evening in St. Louis.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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