Sophomore forward/centers Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana) and Mary O'Keefe (Edwardsville, Illinois) combined for 43 points and 20 rebounds, but it was not enough to lead the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team to victory Thursday evening as the University of Indianapolis held on for a 70-66 Great Lakes Valley Conference win.
USI (16-6, 8-6 GLVC), which had just nine players in uniform Thursday, rallied from nine back in the second half to tie the contest at 53-53 with less than nine minutes to play in the contest.
UIndy (16-6, 9-6 GLVC), which led by as many as 10 in the opening period and 33-28, responded in its next possession as junior guard Katy McIntosh drained a three-pointer to stake the host Greyhounds to a three-point edge.
The two teams battled back-and-forth throughout the next few possessions, but a 7-1 UIndy run, which ended with a three-pointer by junior guard Dajana Jovanovic, put the Greyhounds up 65-58 with just over four minutes to play in the contest.
"Basketball is a game of runs and they had too many sustained runs," USI Head Coach Rick Stein said following the game. "For example, we fought back to tie the game at 15-15 in the first half, but had a couple of breakdowns, a few mental mistakes, and next thing you know its 25-15."
USI trailed 67-60 moments later, but a 4-0 USI spurt, which ended with a Hackert layup, cut the deficit to three-points with 1:25 on the clock.
The Eagles held up on the defensive end during UIndy's next offensive possession; and when O'Keefe came down with her 10th rebound of the contest, USI had the ball with less than a minute to play and an opportunity to get to within a point or tie the contest.
"I think it was a best shot available situation," Stein said when asked about whether his team was looking for a three-pointer. "There was still plenty of time left. We were just trying to run our offense and get a good shot."
USI got a good look at the basket as junior guard Ariel Barnes (Henderson, Kentucky), who finished six points and six assists, pulled up from about 16 feet. Her shot missed the mark, though, as UIndy freshman forward Kylie Ballard came down with the rebound.
From that point, the Greyhounds were able to ice the game at the free throw line as Jovanovic and McIntosh combined to make 3-of-4 attempts in the final 20 seconds. Jovanovic led UIndy with a career-high 19 points, while McIntosh added 17.
"I thought our effort was good; our team's resolve was strong," Stein said. "We were in there and in the hunt and not backing down.
"I think Indy is the hottest team in the league right now and they played great basketball," Stein continued. "But in a game like that, every mistake you make, that one mistake can cost you the game."
Hackert led the Eagles with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while O'Keefe poured in 16 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Taylor Stevenson (Olney, Illinois) added 10 points and four rebounds.
USI returns to action Saturday at 3 p.m. when it travels to Rensselaer, Indiana, to take on Saint Joseph's College. The Pumas (1-20, 0-13 GLVC) hosted Kentucky Wesleyan College Thursday night.
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Public File Contact: