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December 29, 2006

Eagles suffer first setback in nine games

Ferris State (8-3): 71
Southern Indiana (8-2): 55
Box Score

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team suffered its first setback in nine games Friday afternoon as Ferris State University defeated the Screaming Eagles, 71-55, in the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge. The loss puts an end to USI's longest win streak since the 2001-02 campaign.

Despite finding themselves in an early deficit in the first half, the Eagles (8-2) battled back with a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead early in the opening period.

On the strength of some opportune free throw shooting, however, Ferris State (8-3) turned a narrow deficit into a 36-30 halftime edge over the Eagles. The Bulldogs were 9-of-13 from the stripe in the first half, while the Eagles were just 4-for-10 from the free throw line.

Free throw shooting hurt the Eagles all day as they were just 7-of-19 from the charity stripe after entering the game having connected on 74.1 percent of their free throw attempts on the season.

Leading by six at the break, the Bulldogs started the second half much the same way they started the first half as they reeled off five straight points to push their advantage to 11 points.

The Eagles cut the lead to eight moments later, but the Bulldogs used another five-point surge to push their lead to 13 (46-33) three minutes into the second half. USI got no closer than nine points later in the half as it came up on the losing end for the first time since its regular-season opener.

Akiya Alexander

USI was led by junior guard Akiya Alexander (Evanston, Illinois), who finished with 15 points and six steals, and senior forward/center Sarah Buldtman (Metropolis, Illinois), who tallied six points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Katie Thiesenhusen (Muskego, Wisconsin) and senior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) each added nine points in the loss.

Ferris State got a game-high 19 points out of senior guard Kristin Reinhart as well as a pair of double-doubles out of junior forward/center Rachel Folcik and sophomore guard Teghan Thelen. Folcik finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Thelen added 13 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.

The Eagles conclude the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge against Wayne State University Saturday at 1 p.m. in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Dan McDonnell,
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