Momentum-stealing baskets seal Eagles' win over UIS

Momentum-stealing baskets seal Eagles' win over UIS

SPRINGFIELD, IL (WFIE)

Sophomore guard Tanner Marcum (New Albany, Indiana) sank a pair of momentum-stealing baskets in the final six minutes of the game as the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team held off a late rally to defeat the University of Illinois Springfield, 70-58, in a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest Saturday afternoon.

After seeing a 20-point second-half advantage reduced to just seven points with less than six minutes to play, USI got a bucket from Marcum to end a six-minute scoring drought and stop the host Prairie Stars' momentum.

Marcum's basket started a 6-0 run for the Screaming Eagles, who got two free throws from senior guard Autumn Miller (Louisville, Kentucky) and a basket from freshman forward Morgan Dahlstrom (Grayslake, Illinois) to go up, 60-47.

USI (16-5, 8-3 GLVC) saw the Prairie Stars use a 5-0 run moments later to trim the Eagles' lead to single digits. Marcum, however, drained a three-pointer with less than two minutes to play to stop the Illinois Springfield surge and give the Eagles a 67-56 lead.

The Eagles, who scored the first eight points of the game, trailed 20-19 midway through the first period, but a 22-5 run to end the period staked USI to a commanding 41-25 halftime advantage. Senior forward/centers Mary O'Keefe (Edwardsville, Illinois) and Anna Hackert (Evansville, Indiana) combined for 13 points in the run that gave the Eagles an insurmountable lead.

After watching Illinois Springfield (5-14, 1-10 GLVC) score the first four points of the second period, the Eagles used a 13-5 spurt to open up their largest advantage of the contest at 54-34 with 12 minutes to play. The Prairie Stars, however, held the Eagles scoreless for the next six minutes as their 13-0 run cut USI's advantage to 54-47 before Marcum's basket.

Marcum finished with 11 points and was one of four Eagles to score in double-figures on the day. Hackert led the Eagles with 14 points, eight rebounds, and a career-high tying five blocks, while O'Keefe and freshman guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Hackert, who had 10 points, five rebounds, and all of her five blocks in the first 20 minutes, moved past Shelly Scott and Casey Hughes for fourth on USI's all-time career scoring list with 1,423 career points.

O'Keefe and Grooms also had 10 points at the break, while Marcum scored nine of her 11 points in the second half. Miller added five points, four assists, and a career-high six steals.

USI held a slim advantage in shooting percentage and rebounding, but a 22-11 turnover differential helped the Eagles earn their fifth straight road win.

The Eagles return to action Thursday at 5:15 p.m. when they host Quincy University at the Physical Activities Center. USI also hosts Truman State University for Homecoming next Saturday.

Provided by USI Sports Information Department