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February 02, 2006

Rivalry game pivotal to Eagles' post-season hopes

Game Notes (pdf)

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team returns to action Saturday at 5:15 p.m. when it travels across the Ohio River to take on Kentucky Wesleyan College at the Sportscenter in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Saturday's contest is pivotal to the Screaming Eagles' bid for a spot in the GLVC Tournament, which begins March 2 at Roberts Stadium.

USI (13-10, 5-7 GLVC), which is currently 10th in the GLVC standings, trails the University of Indianapolis and Bellarmine University by a half-game for the last two wild card spots in the conference tournament. The Eagles are a game-and-a-half back of the University of Missouri-Rolla for the third spot in the West Division, which receives an automatic bid into the league's post-season tournament.

The GLVC Tournament takes the top three teams from the East and West Divisions as well as two wild cards.

KWC (10-9, 6-6 GLVC), which hosts Oakland City University tonight at 7 p.m., is a half-game ahead of Indianapolis and Bellarmine for the third spot in the East Division. A win over KWC Saturday would give USI a much-needed tiebreaker over the Panthers, should the two teams finish the regular season with the same record and in position for a wild card spot.

Leading the Eagles is freshman point guard Keisha Collins (South Holland, Illinois) and junior guard Katie Thiesenhusen (Muskego, Wisconsin). Collins has averaged 18.4 points and 3.0 assists per game in USI's last five contests, including 25.5 points last week when the Eagles lost to Indianapolis, 71-63, and defeated Saint Joseph's College, 90-83. Collins is third in the GLVC with 15.3 points per game (ppg) in conference only games.

Thiesenhusen averaged 15.1 ppg in the month of January, raising her season scoring average from 10.1 ppg to 12.1 ppg. Thiesenhusen, who is 17th in the GLVC in scoring, hit six three pointers and finished with 22 points in USI's win over SJC this past Saturday.

For the season, sophomore forward Jasmine Baines (Jeffersonville, Indiana) leads the Eagles and ranks 13th in the GLVC with 12.6 ppg. She also leads USI with 5.2 rebounds per game (rpg).

USI leads the all-time series with KWC, 38-22, and is 10-1 since 2000 against the Panthers after splitting the season series a year ago.

KWC, which is coming off wins over Indianapolis and Saint Joseph's, is led by sophomore guards Laura McClintic and Megan Fletcher. McClintic is averaging a team-best 14.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg, while Fletcher is chipping in 13.3 ppg.

Dan McDonnell,
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