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February 03, 2005

USI women upset NKU,
Get much needed road victory

USI 60, Northern Kentucky 59

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.—The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team got a much needed victory Thursday evening, upsetting Northern Kentucky University, 60-59, in Regents Hall.

Down 59-58 with less than a minute to play in the game, the Screaming Eagles were in need of a big offensive possession. They got it, but it came with three missed shots that forced the Eagles to crash the offensive boards.

USI (12-8, 5-8 GLVC) came up with three of its 10 offensive rebounds in its final possession, allowing senior center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois) to hit the go-ahead and eventual game-winning shot with 18 seconds left in the contest.

“I thought we really battled on the offensive boards, especially there at the end,” Head Coach Rick Stein said in his post-game radio show with WSWI’s Bryan Schaeffer.

NKU (12-9, 9-5 GLVC) got off a couple of shots in the final five seconds but where unable to connect on a basket as the Eagles snapped their two game losing streak.

USI trailed by six with less than four minutes to play, but outscored the Norse 8-1 in the final four minutes of the contest to come away with the victory.

Junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) came up big on the defensive end, particularly in the final four minutes of the game. Brandon, who finished with eight points and three steals, created a pair of turnovers, collected one steal, and disrupted a potential game-winning play for the Norse during USI’s 8-1 run.

The Eagles, which committed just nine turnovers in the game, overcame a seven-point deficit in the first half to go into the intermission with a 37-29 lead. Senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the opening period as the Eagles built their lead to as many as 11 on two occasions. Truitt connected on all four of her three-pointers in the first period.

USI led by as many as 10 in the second half, but NKU used a 25-9 run to gain the late six-point lead. Sarah Woods scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Norse.

The Eagles will finish their two-game road trip at the University of Indianapolis Saturday at Noon (CST). Indianapolis (15-5, 8-5 GLVC) defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 88-77, Thursday evening at Nicoson Hall in Indianapolis.

Dan McDonnell,
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