The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team is ranked No. 23 in the latest USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll. The Screaming Eagles' opponents this week, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Lewis University, are also receiving votes in the poll.
It marks the first time since USI was ranked ninth in the 2002-03 preseason poll that the Eagles have earned a top 25 ranking. The University of Indianapolis, which fell from No. 5 to No. 15, is the only other GLVC team represented in this week's poll.
USI (13-2, 5-2 GLVC), which received votes in last week's poll, visits UW-Parkside Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Somers, Wisconsin, before traveling to Romeoville, Illinois, to take on Lewis University Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Eagles are coming off a tough 68-59 setback to Kentucky Wesleyan College Monday evening in Owensboro, Kentucky. USI fell into a 10-0 deficit and trailed 37-22 at the break before closing the gap to two points on a pair of occasions. The Panthers, however, used a late 6-0 spurt to close the door on the Eagles' comeback attempt.
Sophomore forward/center Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana), the reigning GLVC Player of the Week, had 14 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. Her rebounding total is believed to be just the third time in the program's history that a player has reached 20 rebounds in a game and was just one board shy of matching the program's single-game record (21), which was set by two players in 1977(Debbie Schutte vs. Oakland City and Jill Padgett vs. Kentucky Wesleyan).
Hackert leads the Eagles and is seventh in the GLVC with 14.5 points per game, while her team-best 9.5 rebounds per contest ranks second in the GLVC. Junior guard Stephanie Carpenter (Salem, Illinois) ranks 16th in the GLVC and second on the team with 11.9 points per outing.
UW-Parkside (9-6, 3-4 GLVC) is coming off a 63-58 home setback to Lewis Monday evening. Senior guard Jenna Endisch had 12 points to lead the Rangers, who are 1-3 in their last four contests.
Endisch is averaging a team-high 14.0 points per game, while sophomore guard/forward Gaby Bronson is second on the team with 10.3 points per appearance.
USI leads the all-time series with UW-Parkside, 20-8, and is 13-7 against the Rangers since 2000 despite losing both meetings a year ago. The Eagles trail the all-time series with Lewis, 31-28, and are 11-14 against the Flyers since 2000 after splitting the season-series last year.
Lewis (12-3, 5-2 GLVC), which hosts Kentucky Wesleyan Thursday, is led by sophomore forward Jess Reinhart and senior forward Sam Rinehart. Reinhart is averaging a team-best 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while Rinehart is chipping in 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing.
Reinhart scored 22 points in the Flyer's win over UW-Parkside, while Rinehart had a team-best nine rebounds.
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