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January 05, 2008

Eagles can't find rhythm,
Fall to Missouri S&T, 78-63

at Missouri S&T (8-2, 3-1 GLVC): 78
Southern Indiana (6-5, 1-2 GLVC): 63
Box Score

ROLLA, Mo. The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team had trouble finding any sort of rhythm as it fell to the Missouri University of Science & Technology, 78-63, Saturday afternoon.

USI (6-5, 1-2 GLVC) fell behind early as the Miners (8-2, 3-1 GLVC) built a 22-10 advantage midway through the first half.

The Screaming Eagles cut the deficit to six with just under seven minutes to play in the opening frame, but a 15-2 run that took five minutes off the clock put Missouri S&T comfortably ahead, 37-19, with less than two minutes to play in the half.

USI battled back, cutting the Miners' advantage to 38-27 heading into the break and to 40-34 three minutes into the second half. However, six points was as close as the Eagles would get as the two teams battled back-and-forth through much of the second half.

"It seemed like every time we would make a run, something bad would happen," Head Coach Rick Stein said in his post-game interview with WSWI's Andrew Bolin. "I was proud of the way we battled back. We could have folded, but we didn't."

VaNita Smart

Part of the reason the Eagles were able to battle back toward the end of the first half was the play of sophomore guard VaNita Smart (Evansville, Indiana), who finished with a team-high 14 points. Smart scored five of her eight first-half points and set up one of junior guard Carly Clendenen's (Anderson, Indiana) three three-pointers in the final two minutes of the opening frame to pull the Eagles to within 11 at the intermission.

Ninette Evans

Junior forward/center Ninette Evans (Memphis, Tennessee) scored USI's first two buckets of the second half and senior guard Marshay Jolly's (Merrillville, Indiana) three-pointer with 17 minutes to play in the game got the Eagles to within six. Evans finished with her most productive outing the season as she added 10 points and nine rebounds to the Eagles' final tally.

Clendenen added a pair of three-pointers in the second stanza and finished with 11 points, while freshman guard Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana) scored 10 of her 12 points in the final 20 minutes to keep the Eagles within striking distance.

Missouri S&T, however, forced USI into 23 turnovers and contained its leading scorer, senior forward Jasmine Baines (Jeffersonville, Indiana), to just seven points. Baines, who entered the contest averaging 19.6 points per game, failed to reach double-digits in the scoring column for just the first time this season. She added seven rebounds in the setback.

The Miners also finished 26-of-34 from the free throw line, compared to just 9-of-13 by the Eagles.

Senior guard Jamie Forseberg led the Miners with 17 points, nine of which came from the charity stripe, while junior guard/forward Lauren Dubbert added 16 points, eight of which came from the free throw line.

USI returns to action Thursday when it hosts the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in its GLVC home-opener. Tip-off is slated for 5:15 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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