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February 19, 2002

Eagles looking for redemption at Bellarmine

The University of Southern Indiana saw its 24-game home winning streak fall by the wayside nearly a month ago when Bellarmine University, a team the Screaming Eagles have struggled against in seasonsí past, came to the Physical Activities Center and handed the Eagles a disappointing 78-72 loss.

Thursday night will be USIís chance to get back at the Lady Knights as the Eagles travel to Knights Hall in Louisville, Kentucky for a highly anticipated rematch. The Eagles enter Thursdayís contest with a 21-5 overall record, 14-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while the Lady Knights come in with a 17-7 overall record, 12-6 in the GLVC.

Since losing to Bellarmine on January 26, the Eagles have won four of their last five, including their last three games. On the flip side, the Lady Knights have gone 3-3 since snapping the Eagles home winning streak, including 2-3 in the GLVC.

For the Eagles to be successful, they will have to find away to stop Bellarmineís top three scorers, Lynne Johnson, Nickie Randall, and Shanta Bowens. The three combined for 54 of Bellarmineís 78 points in the first meeting and 23 of the teamís 45 rebounds.

USI will need solid performances from sophomore forward Jessica Stuckman (Quincy, Illinois) and senior guard Jasmine Moore (Chicago, Illinois). Moore led the Eagles with 16 points in the first meeting, but was held to two assists and two steals.

Stuckman scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but was limited to just 12 shots and two free throws.

One area that hurt the Eagles in the first meeting was free throws. Bellarmine went to the charity stripe 32 times and connected on 27 of its attempts while the Eagles got to the line 16 times, connecting on 11 of their attempts.

USI will have to contend with one other stat, its winning percentage at Bellarmine. The Eagles are 13-25 all-time against the Lady Knights, but are just 3-18 at Knights Hall.

A year ago, the Eagles lost their first meeting to Bellarmine, but rebounded to win 15 straight games, including two over the Lady Knights.

USI also will need senior forward Casey Hughes (Bicknell, Indiana) and junior forward/center Africa Sherrod (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) to continue their solid play. Hughes is averaging 10.5 points per game this season and has stepped up her intensity on the boards in the last eight games. She is averaging 7.5 rebounds in USIís last eight contests, as opposed to 3.3 rebounds in USIís first 18 games.

Sherrod is averaging 11.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest and has scored in double-figures in USIís last three games.

For the season, Jessica Stuckman and Jasmine Moore lead USI. Stuckman is leading the GLVC with 20.7 points per game and is eighth in the league with a team-high 7.1 rebounds per outing. Moore is averaging 13.5 points and is second in the league with a team-high 3.5 steals per game. She also ranks fifth in the conference with a team-leading 4.1 assists per contest.

Thursdayís game is schedule for 4:45 p.m.
Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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