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February 08, 2005

USI women in battle for GLVC Tournament berth

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EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team is looking to improve its chances to qualify for the GLVC Tournament Thursday when it returns to the Physical Activities Center to take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at 5:15 p.m.

USI (12-9, 5-9 GLVC), which finishes the 2004-05 home schedule Saturday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Lewis University for Homecoming/Senior Day, is currently tied for seventh in the GLVC standings with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Screaming Eagles hold the tie-breaker over SIUE and are a half-game ahead of Kentucky Wesleyan College.

With six games remaining in the regular season, the Eagles have the most difficult road into the tournament of the three teams in contention for the last two spots. USI will be on the road in four of its last six games and is just 1-5 against the remaining opponents on its schedule. Those opponents also are a combined 48-40 in GLVC play this season.

SIUE, which also plays four of its final six games on the road, is 4-2 against its remaining opponents, while KWC (5-10 GLVC), which plays three of its final five games at home, is 2-3 against the remainder of its schedule. The remaining opponents for SIUE are a combined 41-47 in GLVC play, while the remaining opponents for KWC are a combined 35-38 in GLVC action.

Leading the Eagles is senior guard Jamie Truitt (Owensboro, Kentucky) and junior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois). Truitt is averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game, including 18.0 points in the last two games. Brandon is second on the team with 12.1 points per game, posting 14.5 points in the last two contests.

Brandon led the Eagles with 10 points in the previous meeting with UWP, a 71-44 loss in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Rangers were led by freshman guard Kim Murphy, who scored a game-high 16 points.

UWP (16-9, 10-5 GLVC) is led by senior center Sammy Kromm and senior guard/forward Carrie Weir. Kromm is averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game, while Weir is second on the team with 15.9 points per outing.

USI, which has never lost to UWP at the PAC, leads the all-time series with the Rangers, 17-2, and is 10-2 since 2000 against the Rangers. The Eagles lead the all-time series with Lewis 25-20 and are 7-4 since 2000 against the Flyers.

Lewis (12-9, 9-5 GLVC), which defeated the Eagles 85-70 in Romeoville earlier this season, is led by sophomore guard/forward Mary Moskal and sophomore forward Darcee Schmidt. Moskal is averaging a team-high 16.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Schmidt is second in the team with 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Both Schmidt and Moskal dropped in a game-high 25 points in Lewis’s first meeting with USI, while junior guard Shante Glenn finished with 20 points. Senior forward/center Andrea Engleking (Charlottesville, Indiana) led the Eagles with 17 points in that contest, while junior forward Ashley Green (Otterbein, Indiana) finished with 14 points.

Prior to the Lewis game, USI will honor its four seniors—Engleking, Truitt, guard Kennitra Johnson (New Albany, Indiana), and forward/center Megan Nelson (Clarendon Hills, Illinois)—as well senior manager Brianna Wright as part of the Senior Day festivities.

Dan McDonnell,
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