EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - No. 14 University of Southern Indiana Women's Basketball used a late 7-0 run to hold of visiting Lewis University, 67-56, in its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener Thursday evening at the PAC.
The Screaming Eagles (7-0, 1-0 GLVC) led by as many as 18 points late in the third quarter, but the Flyers cut USI's lead to 10 by the end of the period and to two with less than five minutes to play in the game. USI, however, held the Flyers to just two points throughout the final 4:45 of the contest as it held on for the 11-point win.
Senior guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) had a game-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks to lead the Eagles. Senior forward Morgan Dahlstrom (Grayslake, Illinois) finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Randa Harshbarger (Philo, Illinois) added six points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Junior guard Alex Davidson (Salem, Indiana) chipped in nine points and a pair of blocks, while junior forward Kacy Eschweiler (St. Charles, Missouri) contributed eight points and six rebounds.
Junior forward Jessica Kelliher led the Flyers (4-3, 0-1 GLC) with 16 points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Tierney Lockett finished with 15 points.
The Eagles, who held the Flyers to just 28.4 percent (21-74) shooting, return to action Saturday at noon (CST) when they travel to Indianapolis to take on the University of Indianapolis in a GLVC contest. The Greyhounds (1-6, 0-1 GLVC) suffered a 76-71 road setback to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Thursday evening.
USI made five of its first seven shots from the field to build an early 11-2 lead; but a 0-for-8 shooting effort to end the period allowed the Flyers to close the Eagles' lead to 13-8. Eschweiler had four points to lead the Eagles, who went 5-of-15 (.333) from the field.
Keyed by a trio of three-pointers by Grooms and Davidson, the Eagles used a 12-0 run to turn a three-point lead into a commanding 25-10 advantage less than four minutes into the second frame. The Flyers, however, outscored the Eagles, 11-4, throughout the final six minutes of the half to close the gap. Grooms had six points in the second quarter to lead USI, which went into the break with a 29-21 lead.
The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the second half to extend their lead to 39-21 with just over six minutes to play in the period. Lewis, however, used a 10-2 run late in the period to cut the Eagles' cushion to 49-39 heading into the final 10 minutes of the contest.
USI saw its 10-point lead dwindle to just two points with just under five minutes to play in the game. The Eagles, however, responded by limiting the Flyers to just two points throughout the final 4:45 of the contest as it held on for the 11-point win. Dahlstrom and Grooms each had six points to lead the Eagles in the final period, while Harshbarger added five points and three rebounds.