Sophomore guard Tanner Marcum (New Albany, Indiana) scored 14 of her career and game-high 22 points in the second half as the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team defeated Newberry College, 70-49, Sunday afternoon to conclude the USI Thanksgiving Classic.
Marcum scored five points in a 10-2 run that saw the Screaming Eagles turn a slim 35-33 lead into a much-more comfortable 10-point cushion with just under 10 minutes to play in the contest. She scored seven points in a 13-0 outburst later in the frame as USI transformed a 52-44 lead into a commanding 21-point advantage.
The Eagles (6-1), who led 26-23 at the break, increased the point differential to seven early in the second period as senior guard Autumn Miller (Louisville, Kentucky) and senior forward/center Anna Hackert (Louisville, Kentucky), on the heels of a Newberry three-pointer, combined for five straight points to give USI a 33-26 edge.
After Newberry (5-2) trimmed USI's lead to 35-33, freshman guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) began USI's 10-2 run with a pair of free throws. Marcum followed with a layup and a three-pointer as USI's lead ballooned to 42-33.
Grooms, who scored five points in the Eagles' 10-2 run, followed a Newberry bucket with an old-fashioned three-point play, giving USI its first double-digit lead of the afternoon.
The Wolves got back to within seven on a pair of occasions and trailed 52-44 with just under five minutes to play when a Marcum three-pointer gave the Eagles a double-digit advantage that would stick for the remainder of the game.
Senior forward/center Mary O'Keefe (Edwardsville, Illinois) followed with a bucket with just over four minutes to play as USI went up by 13; then the Eagles converted six straight free throws to build a 63-44 lead with 2:39 to play.
Marcum, who was 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from three-point range, concluded the 13-0 stretch with a layup, giving the Eagles a 21-point gap with 2:27 left.
The Eagles, who turned 24 Newberry turnovers into 37 points, led by as many as 24 before the final buzzer sounded. USI shot 50.0 percent (13-26) in the final 20 minutes and 45.1 percent (23-51) for the game, while out-rebounding the Wolves 34-29.
USI also held Newberry to just 39.3 percent (11-28) shooting in the second half and 40.4 percent (21-52) for the game.
Hackert, who saw her double-double streak end at six games, finished with 18 points and five rebounds, while Grooms and O'Keefe each added nine points. Grooms did all of her scoring in the final period, as did Miller, who finished with eight points.
After a busy November that saw USI play seven regular-season games and two exhibitions in a span of 24 days, the Eagles will be off until December 9, when they host Midwest Region foe Salem International University at the PAC.
The USI Thanksgiving Classic concluded with USI and Great Lakes Valley Conference mate Bellarmine University both posting 2-0 records. Bellarmine defeated Harris-Stowe State University, 82-64, earlier in the day.