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January 26, 2008

Eagles come up short despite another strong effort

SIU Edwardsville (13-4, 6-3 GLVC): 73
at Southern Indiana (7-10, 2-7 GLVC): 70
Box Score

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team's comeback bid fell a little short Saturday as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville defeated the Screaming Eagles, 73-70, Saturday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (7-10, 2-7 GLVC) trailed by as many as 10 with less than six minutes to play before it went on an 11-0 run to grab a brief 68-67 lead with three minutes remaining in the game.

SIU Edwardsville (13-4, 6-3 GLVC), however, got a bucket from senior guard/forward Amber Shelton and a pair of free throws from senior guard Amy Austin in the next two minutes to claim a 71-68 lead.

Jessica Grimaldo

The Eagles got to within a point when junior forward/center Jessica Grimaldo (Carmi, Illinois) connected on a shot in the paint, but Shelton answered with a second-chance bucket on the Cougars' next possession to give SIU Edwardsville a 73-70 advantage with 13 seconds to play in the contest.

USI did not get a great look at the basket in the final seconds of the contest as the Cougars came out with the win and the Eagles suffered their fourth straight loss.

The Eagles, who have had second-half leads in their last six games despite winning just one of those contests, had a great start to the game.

Brittany Darden

After a three-pointer by junior guard Brittany Darden (Guthrie, Kentucky) and a pair of free throws by Grimaldo, the Eagles had a 37-27 lead with less than four minutes to play in the first half.

SIU Edwardsville, behind a pair of three pointers and free throws by senior guard Whitney Sykes, ended the half on a 14-0 run to claim a 41-27 halftime advantage.

The Cougars extended their lead to six early in the second half, but a 6-0 USI run put the Eagles into a 45-45 tie with less than 16 minutes to play in the final period.

SIU Edwardsville, however, scored the next eight points to grab a 53-45 lead with 11:32 to play in the game. USI chiseled the lead down to five points two minutes later, but a 5-0 run gave SIU Edwardsville its largest lead of the game (60-50) with less than eight minutes to play.

The two teams battled back-and-forth for the next two minutes before the Eagles turned a 67-57 deficit into their only lead of the second half with the 11-0 run.

Freshman guard Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana) led the Eagles with 15 points and four assists, while sophomore guard VaNita Smart (Evansville, Indiana) added 14 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Jasmine Baines (Jeffersonville, Indiana) added 10 points and a game-high tying seven rebounds.

Shelton led the Cougars with 18 points, while senior guard Elyse Morris finished with 17 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Sykes and Austin rounded out the Cougars' double-digit scorers with 15 points each.

As a team, the Cougars were 23-of-25 from the free throw line, while the Eagles were 7-of-10 from the charity stripe. The Eagles were 46.6 percent from the floor, compared to the Cougars' 40.7 percent shooting clip. SIU Edwardsville held the rebounding edge, 33-3

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