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February 19, 2009

Eagles persevere in overtime

Southern Indiana (14-10, 6-8 GLVC): 83
at Missouri-St. Louis (7-19, 3-12 GLVC): 74
Box Score

ST. LOUIS, Mo.The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team used runs of 8-0 and 5-0 to begin the first and second halves, respectively, but it was a 7-0 spurt to start the overtime period that lifted the Screaming Eagles to a thrilling 83-74 road victory over the University of Missouri-St. Louis Thursday evening.

"We knew it was going to be dog fight coming in," Head Coach Rick Stein said in his post-game interview with WSWI's Nick Mellinger. "UMSL has been playing really well of late, having won two straight games. They beat Rockhurst on Saturday and won at Lincoln Tuesday night. We knew how tough it would be to come in here and get a win.

"We jumped out to a big lead early and then we broke down a little bit defensively," Stein continued. "They started to get easy shots and then we started to foul too much."

USI (14-10, 6-8 GLVC) built a 19-point first-half lead and a 16-point second half lead, but found itself in need of an extra period to put away the host Tritons.

Missouri-St. Louis (7-19, 3-12 GLVC) forced the extra period by reeling off a 25-9 run that lasted nine minutes and tied the score at 65-65 with two minutes to play.

The Eagles, though, never surrendered the lead as they stayed a step ahead of the Tritons the whole way. USI took a pair of three-point advantages in the final two minutes of regulation, but could not shake Missouri-St. Louis as they Tritons knotted the score at 70-70 to force the extra period.

Ellen Young

Sophomore guard Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) drained a three-pointer to get USI off to a 73-70 lead in the overtime period. Senior forward/center Brittany Neuman (Huntingburg, Indiana) followed with a pair of close-range shots to give the Eagles a 77-70 cushion with three minutes left in the extra period.

Brittany Neuman

Young, who went 4-of-4 from downtown, finished the contest with a game-high 19 points, 17 of which came after the intermission. Neuman, who had three blocks and three steals, added 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds before fouling out with less than two minutes to play in the overtime period.

The Tritons never got closer than five points following the Eagles 7-0 spurt as USI defeated Missouri-St. Louis for the second time this season.

"I thought we showed our hearts tonight," Stein continued. "It wasn't perfect, we made some mistakes, but we got over it, we persevered, and got a great road win when we needed it."

Sophomore guard Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana) added 16 points in the victory, while junior forward Abby Williams (St. Joseph, Illinois) chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Lauren Meneghetti (Munster, Indiana) contributed seven points and a game-high seven assists.

Freshman guard/forward Hailee Deckard led the Tritons with 15 points and seven rebounds.

USI can clinch the third seed in the GLVC West Division with a victory over Missouri University of Science & Technology Saturday at the Physical Activities Center. Missouri S&T (12-12, 5-10 GLVC) fell to Quincy University, 89-81, Thursday evening in Quincy, Illinois.

The Eagles, who are encouraging fans to wear pink Saturday, will honor Neuman as well as senior forward/center Ninette Evans (Memphis, Tennessee) and student assistant coach Jessica Grimaldo (Carmi, Illinois) prior to their 1 p.m. tip-off with the Miners.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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