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February 08, 2007

Brandon helps Eagles hold off late surge

Southern Indiana (14-8, 8-6 GLVC): 67
at Missouri-St. Louis (5-16, 1-13 GLVC): 62
Box Score

Sabrina Brandon

ST. LOUIS, Mo.Senior forward Sabrina Brandon (Danville, Illinois) made an immediate impact as she returned to the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team's line up Thursday evening.

Brandon, who missed USI's last contest due to family matters, scored seven points in the final four minutes of the game to help the Screaming Eagles hold off a late surge and post a 67-62 victory over the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Brandon led the Eagles with a season-high tying 19 points, 12 of which came in the second half and nine of which came from the charity stripe.

The Eagles (14-8, 8-6 GLVC) possessed a 12-point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest, but a 15-2 run brought the Riverwomen to within a point of the Eagles with just over four minutes to play in regulation.

Brandon put the Eagles up by three moments later, but a Taylor Gagliano three-pointer brought the Riverwomen into a 60-60 tie with three minutes left in the game. Brandon, however, converted three of her next four free throw attempts to give USI a 63-60 lead.

After UM-St. Louis (5-16, 1-13 GLVC) cut the Eagles' lead to one, junior guard Akiya Alexander (Evanston, Illinois) hit a timely jumper to give the Eagles a 65-62 lead. Brandon nailed down two more free throws and the Eagles' defense held its ground as USI walked out with a season-sweep of the Riverwomen.

Katie Thiesenhusen

USI started the contest slowly as it fell behind 7-0 early in the game. However, the Eagles rode the steady shooting hand of senior guard Katie Thiesenhusen (Muskego, Wisconsin) as they fought their way back into the contest and into a 37-29 halftime advantage.

Thiesenhusen scored 15 points in the opening period and started the second half with one of her four three-pointers to give USI a 40-31 lead. However, the Riverwomen held Thiesenhusen in check the rest of the contest as she finished with 18 points.

The Eagles also got a great outing out of junior forward Jasmine Baines (Jeffersonville, Indiana), who finished with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Baines had a key rebound on a missed free throw late in the contest that allowed USI to expand its lead from one point to three points in a single possession.

Alexander rounded out USI's double-figure scorers as she finished with 10 points and three assists.

Senior center Jennifer Martin led the Riverwomen with 22 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Leslie Ricker added nine points and six rebounds.

USI returns to action Saturday when it travels west to take on the University of Missouri-Rolla at 1 p.m. UM-Rolla (13-9, 6-8 GLVC) was idle Thursday night after defeating Missouri-St. Louis, 77-74, in overtime Tuesday night.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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