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December 22, 2008

Stein ties record as Eagles roll past Truman State

at Southern Indiana (6-4): 67
Truman State (3-7): 50
Box Score

Rick Stein

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball players handed Head Coach Rick Stein his school-record-tying 159th career victory with a dominating 67-50 win over Truman State University Monday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center.

"When I think back to all my years here as a coach and as a player, there has been a lot of pride in the program," Stein said following the game. "I've been blessed to have a great opportunity here at USI and been blessed to have a lot of great players and great coaches that I've worked with. I've had some great assistant coaches with Randa Gatling, Michelle Irwin, LeAnn Freeland, and Casey Nations."

USI (6-4) looked like it was going to walk away with an easy victory, especially after holding the Bulldogs to just 14 first-half points. USI shot 44.8 percent from the field in the opening frame and held Truman State to just six field goals as it went into the locker room with a 32-14 halftime lead.

The Screaming Eagles extend their margin to 22 in the first minute of the second half, but Truman State (3-7) battled back to cut USI's deficit to nine points (47-38) with 12:20 to play in the game.

USI, which had lost second-half leads in two of its last three games heading into Monday's contest with Truman State, went on a 20-7 run from that point to extend its lead back to 22 points before settling on the 17-point victory.

"Truman State made us guard for 30 seconds at a time," Stein said. "Every time we let up, they made us pay.

"I thought we hit a low there at the beginning of the second-half, but I our players stepped up to the challenge," Stein continued. "We got some stops and controlled the paint on both ends of the court. Our post players played great and we got to the free throw line early, which are the little things that can really help you overcome runs from the other team."

Ellen Young

The Eagles out-rebounded Truman State, 38-27, and out-scored the Bulldogs in the paint, 32-14. Sophomore guard Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) had a team-high 12 points to go with a game and career-high 12 rebounds. Senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana) added 11 points and six rebounds, while junior guard/forward Abby Williams (St. Joseph, Illinois) reached double-figures for the second straight game as she finished with 11 points.

"I think it was a total team effort today," Stein said. "Everyone contributed on both ends of the court and I'm looking forward to see where we can go from here. I'm really proud and pleased to see how far we've come in a short time with this young group."

Stein will have the opportunity to become the all-time winningest coach in the program's history next Monday when the Eagles host Wayne State University at 7 p.m. at the PAC.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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