The University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team looks to snap a three-game skid Thursday at 5:15 p.m. when it hosts Bellarmine University in a Great Lakes Valley Conference duel at the Physical Activities Center.
USI (13-4, 5-4 GLVC), which also visits GLVC-newcomer McKendree University Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lebanon, Illinois, is returning from a tough three-game road trip that saw it drop games at Kentucky Wesleyan College, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and Lewis University.
The Eagles, who fell out of the USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches' poll and is currently receiving votes, nearly overcame a 15-point halftime deficit before succumbing to Kentucky Wesleyan. They saw a pair of second-half leads slip away in their losses at Wisconsin-Parkside and Lewis.
Sophomore forward/center Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana) paced the Eagles with 17.3 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, while junior guard Ariel Barnes (Henderson, Kentucky) chipped in 10.0 points and 3.0 assists per appearance.
For the season, Hackert leads the GLVC in total rebounds (9.6 rpg), offensive rebounds (3.9 orpg), and field goal percentage (.552). She is third in the GLVC in defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), second in double-doubles (7), tied for seventh in scoring (15.1 ppg), and tied for 14th in blocks (0.8 bpg).
In addition to Hackert, junior guard Stephanie Carpenter (Evansville, Indiana) is chipping in 11.3 points per game, while Barnes is contributing 9.2 points and a team-best 3.6 assists per outing.
Bellarmine (16-4, 6-3 GLVC), which is receiving votes in the latest Top 25 poll, has won five straight games, including a thrilling 75-72 triumph at nationally-ranked University of Indianapolis this past Saturday.
Junior guard Therese Montano, who is averaging 7.9 points per game, hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game for the Knights, who are tied for second in the GLVC East Division.
For the season, senior guard Betsy Goodin leads the Knights with 10.9 points per outing, while sophomore forward Darion Hutchinson is chipping 9.5 points and a team-best 6.2 rebounds per game.
USI's game against Bellarmine marks the first-ever meeting between USI Head Coach Rick Stein and his former boss, Chancellor Dugan. Stein was an assistant under Dugan during her sting at USI and took over for the USI Hall of Famer when she left for Florida Atlantic University in 1999.
Dugan, who is in her first year as the Head Coach at Bellarmine, directed the Eagles to a 159-73 record from 1991-99 and to the 1997 NCAA II National Championship game.
USI, which is 10-0 at the PAC this year, trails the all-time series with Bellarmine, 41-19, and is 8-15 against the Knights since 2000 after losing both games during the 2011-12 season.
Saturday's contest at McKendree is the first-ever meeting between the Eagles and the Bearcats in women's basketball.
McKendree (6-11, 1-8 GLVC), which visits Kentucky Wesleyan College Thursday evening, is coming off an 84-66 road win over Saint Joseph's College this past Saturday. Sophomore guard Caty Ponce, who leads the team with 16.5 points per game, scored 32 points to lead the Bearcats, who snapped an eight-game losing streak with their first-ever GLVC win.
Both games this week can be heard on WPSR 90.7 FM, while live stats, audio, and video can be accessed at gousieagles.com.
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