Balanced offensive effort lifts Eagles to 20-point win over S&T

Balanced offensive effort lifts Eagles to 20-point win over S&T

ROLLA, MO (WFIE)

All five starters scored in double-figures the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team cruised to a 75-55 Great Lakes Valley Conference victory over host Missouri University of Science & Technology.

USI (11-3, 3-1 GLVC) had runs of 9-1 and 15-0 to build a commanding first-half lead, but it was the Eagles' 6-0 run to end the opening period that may have been the difference-maker in the contest.

Missouri S&T (4-9, 0-5 GLVC), which trailed by 18 with six minutes to play in the first half, used at 15-2 run to trim the Screaming Eagles' cushion to 35-30 with less than three minutes to play in the frame. Senior forward/center Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana), however, had back-to-back baskets and senior guard Libby Ogden (Tipton, Indiana) hit a pair of free throws as USI went into the break with a 41-30 halftime advantage.

Freshman guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) added to the run in the beginning stages of the second period as she converted a layup off a pass from Hackert as USI extended its advantage to 13.

USI's cushion did not slip below 11 points for the remainder of the contest as the Eagles earned their third straight victory over the Miners.

Grooms and senior guard Autumn Miller (Louisville, Kentucky) played a big role in the Eagles' 15-0 run, which turned a slim three-point lead into a comfortable 33-15 advantage. Miller scored six of her 13 points in the rally, while Grooms scored five of her 13 points.

As a team, the Eagles went 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point range during their 15-0 run and were 3-of-4 from the field during their 8-0 run that spanned the end of the first half and beginning of the second period. They were 4-of-7 from the field during their 9-1 run that staked them to an early 16-6 advantage.

USI hit 14-of-28 from the field and was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes of the game. The Eagles were just 2-of-8 from the field in the early stages of the second half, but they held the Miners to just 1-of-7 from the field during that stretch as they kept Missouri S&T at bay.

Hackert aided USI in the first half with 10 of her game-high 14 points coming in the first 20 minutes. Senior forward/center Mary O'Keefe (Edwardsville, Indiana) scored 10 of her 12 points in the final 20 minutes. Hackert recorded her 10th double-double of the season as she added a game-high 12 rebounds to her stat line, while O'Keefe had seven rebounds.

Grooms, who was 5-of-7 from the field, added four assists to her scoring tally, as did Ogden, who finished with 11 points. Senior forward/center Cayla Herbst (Glen Ellyn, Illinois) added six points off the bench for USI, which improved to 2-1 on the road.

The Eagles continue their four-game road trip Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when they travel to Rensselaer, Indiana, to take on GLVC East Division foe Saint Joseph's College.

Note: Saturday's game marked the second time this season that USI has had five players in double-figures…the last was in USI's 97-63 win over Brescia University November 25.
Provided by USI Sports Information Department