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January 19, 2002

Eagles survive overtime scare, foul trouble

University of Southern Indiana (16-3 overall, 9-2 GLVC): 76
@ Saint Joseph’s College (4-13 overall, 3-8 GLVC): 73 OT

It took an extra period, but the seventh-ranked University of Southern Indiana women’s basketball team overcame foul trouble and poor shooting to get past Saint Joseph’s College, 76-73, this afternoon in Rensselaer, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles improve to 16-3 overall, 9-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while the Pumas fall to 4-13 overall and 3-9 in the GLVC.

After SJC started the scoring with an early bucket, the Eagles used a 9-0 run to claim a seven point lead early in the first half. However, the Pumas answered with a 12-2 run to reclaim a lead they would not give up until late in the first half.

With the Eagles down by eight with 5:27 to go in the first stanza, senior forward Casey Hughes (Bicknell, Indiana) connected on a shot from behind the arc to start an 11-3 run by the Eagles that would tie the game at 30. Hughes scored 16 points and brought down eight rebounds in the first half.

USI shot just 9-of-37 from the floor and 3-of-12 from behind the arc in the first period as it went into the locker room trailing 34-36 at the half. The Eagles committed 16 fouls in the first half with sophomore forward Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois) and senior center Michelle Irwin (Louisville, Kentucky) possessing three fouls apiece.

SJC opened the second half with a 5-0 run to take a 41-34 lead. The Eagles missed their first six shots of the second half as they found themselves down by seven with 17:34 to go in regulation.

Stuckman, battling the foul trouble, got the Eagles going as she grabbed her own rebound, off a missed lay up, and put the ball in the hoop for their first field goal of the game. Stuckman scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds, including two crucial offensive boards late in regulation, to keep the Eagles afloat in the second frame.

The Eagles, once again, found themselves down by seven with 11:30 remaining in the second period before reeling off eight unanswered points to take a 48-47 lead, their first since leading 10-9 at the 14:17 mark of the first half. The two teams would trade leads five times before settling for a 62-62 tie at the end of regulation.

Once again, Stuckman started the scoring in the second period as she nailed down a pair of free throws to give USI a 64-62 lead with 4:41 remaining. SJC came back to tie the contest before a Casey Hughes’ bucket gave the Eagles a lead they would not surrender.

Senior guard Jasmine Moore (Chicago, Illinois) connected on her second three-pointer of the game to give USI a 70-65 lead with less than two minutes to play. Moore, who finished with 15 points and three assists, nailed down three more free throws down the stretch to seal the win for USI.

“We fought through it and we talked about being tough,” Head Coach Rick Stein said. “The ball wasn’t going in for us and we were still right there. Down the stretch I thought we were the tougher team. We made plays, we made free throws and we got stops.

“I was pleased with our toughness,” Stein continued. “I think we learned a lot from today’s game because this is our first sweep on the road in the league. There are no easy games on the road in our conference and today was no difference.”

For the game, the Eagles were a dismal 21-of-77 from the field and had five players foul out, four of which came in overtime. However, USI forced the Pumas into 31 turnovers and limited them to 20-of-60 from the floor. The Eagles out-rebound the Pumas 56-54, including 21-12 on the offensive glass.

Hughes led all scorers with 21 points and tied her career-high with a game-high 14 rebounds. Stuckman followed Hughes with 18 points and 13 rebounds while junior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) added nine points and 10 rebounds.

The Eagles, who have won nine consecutive games, will host third-ranked

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