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December 04, 2008

Early second-half slump grounds Eagles

at Lewis (4-4, 1-0 GLVC): 69
Southern Indiana (4-3, 0-1 GLVC): 61
Box Score

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team could not overcome an early second-half slump as it fell to Lewis University, 69-61, in its GLVC-opener Thursday evening.

USI (4-3, 0-1 GLVC) went just 2-of-11 from the floor in the first eight minutes of the second half as the Flyers turned a 30-27 halftime deficit into a 52-37 lead with 12 minutes to play in the contest.

Lewis (4-4, 1-0 GLVC), behind the play of sophomore guard/forward Jenny Turpel and sophomore guard Kelly Monaco, connected on 11-of-14 shots during that span as it turned the momentum of the contest into its favor.

Lewis's leading scorer coming into the contest, Turpel scored all 13 of her points in the second half after spending much of the first period on the bench with a pair of fouls. Turpel made an immediate impact in the second half as she scored seven straight points to give Lewis a 34-32 advantage two minutes into the final period.

Monaco, who had a game-high 20 points, took over from that point as she sandwiched a two-pointer between a pair of three's to cap off the 25-7 run.

"She got hot from the outside and really opened things up for Lewis on the offensive end," USI Head Coach Rick Stein said of Monaco in his post-game interview with WSWI's Nick Mellinger.

Ninette Evans

The Screaming Eagles looked good in the first five minutes of the contest as they jumped out to a 13-3 lead. USI, which dominated the paint, got a great effort out of senior forward/center Ninette Evans (Memphis, Tennessee) as it was in control of the contest for much of the first 20 minutes.

Evans had eight of her team and career-high 16 points in the opening period to pace USI to the three-point halftime lead.

Lewis, however, fought back, chiseling USI's 13-3 lead to a single point with nine minutes to play in the opening period. The Flyers eventually took a 27-26 lead with two minutes to play in the opening frame.

Amie Newhart

Sophomore guards Lauren Meneghetti (Munster, Indiana) and Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana), however, each had layups in the final two minutes to lift the Eagles to the 30-27 lead at the break.

"I thought our start was pretty good but we just couldn't sustain it," Stein said. "We just aren't topping off baskets. We had missed opportunities on the offensive end and it hurt us."

Following the 25-7 Lewis run, the Eagles were able to cut the Flyers advantage to seven points on a few occasions, but that was as close as they would get.

In addition to Evans' 16 points, USI got 13 points from Newhart and nine points from sophomore guard Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois). Junior guard/forward Abby Williams (St. Joseph, Indiana) led USI with 11 rebounds, while Evans and senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana) added nine and seven rebounds, respectively.

USI dominated the rebounding battle as it held a 44-31 advantage on the boards, but the Flyers 58.6 percent shooting performance in the second half proved to be too much to overcome.

The Eagles conclude their GLVC-opening road trip Saturday when they travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside at 1 p.m. The Rangers (1-4, 1-0 GLVC) defeated Kentucky Wesleyan College, 67-54, in their home-opener Thursday evening.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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