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December 02, 2006

Second-half turnaround lifts Eagles to victory

at Southern Indiana (4-1, 1-0 GLVC): 73
Kentucky Wesleyan (5-1, 0-1 GLVC): 66
Box Score

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team turned a sluggish first-half performance into a dominate second half showing as the Screaming Eagles defeated arch-rival Kentucky Wesleyan College, 73-66, Saturday evening at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (4-1, 1-0 GLVC), which trailed by as many as 11 in the first half before going into the locker room facing a 38-32 halftime deficit, turned the game around by crashing the boards in the second period. The Eagles out-rebounded the Panthers in the second half, 24-14, after being edged on the boards, 22-13, in the opening frame.

Sabrina Brandon

Despite the second-half dominance on the glass, USI's turnaround could be attributed to one rebound in the first half. The rebound came in the closing seconds after senior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) missed a free throw, which would have given the Eagles a three-point play. Instead, Brandon collected the long miss and got a off a shot at the buzzer that found the net and sent the Eagles into the locker room on a 4-0 run.

The play gave the Eagles the momentum they needed to dominate the Panthers in the second period. USI's rebounding allowed the Eagles to gain a 12-3 advantage in second-chance points in the closing period after the Panthers held a 7-2 advantage in second-chance points in the first half.

Akiya Alexander

USI also forced KWC into 13 second-half turnovers, 22 for the game, as it used an 8-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 56-53 lead with less than eight minutes to play in the game. Junior guard Akiya Alexander (Evanston, Illinois) and senior forward/center Sarah Buldtman (Metropolis, Illinois) each had a three-point play during the run that gave the Eagles third first lead in nearly eight minutes.

The Eagles extended their lead to six later in the contest when Brandon connected on her first three-pointer of the season.

Sarah Buldtman

Brandon led the Eagles with 13 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Alexander finished with 12 points and a pair of steals. Buldtman had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while senior guard Katie Thiesenhsuen (Muskego, Wisconsin) added nine points, six rebounds, and a game-high six assists.

KWC (5-1, 0-1 GLVC) got a game-high 20 points and team-high eight rebounds out of junior forward LaTasha Henry.

The Eagles return to action Thursday when they travel to Rensselaer, Indiana, to take on Saint Joseph's College at 5:30 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
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