EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (WFIE) - Senior guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) and senior forward Morgan Dahlstrom (Grayslake, Illinois) combined for 45 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 2 seeded University of Southern Indiana Women's Basketball to a 76-68 victory over the No. 3 seeded Lewis University Flyers in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon.
The Screaming Eagles (26-3), ranked No. 15 in the Division II Media Poll and No. 17 by the WBCA, used first-half runs of 10-0 and 9-0 to erase a six-point first-quarter deficit and take a 37-34 lead into the intermission.
USI extended its advantage to eight early in the second half and led by as much as nine before a 9-4 Lewis run cut the Eagles' cushion to three midway through the fourth period.
A three-pointer by junior guard Alex Davidson(Salem, Indiana) broke the Flyers' momentum and began a 7-0 run that put the Eagles up 67-57 late in the half.
Lewis (23-7) made a couple of late three-pointers to make things interesting, but Grooms went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the victory for the Eagles.
Grooms finished the contest with a game-high 27 points to go along with five assists, three steals and four rebounds; while Dahlstrom added 18 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Junior forward Jessica Kelliher, the two-time GLVC Player of the Year, led the Flyers with 16 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals.
The Eagles will play top-seeded Drury University in the championship game of the GLVC Tournament Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Illinois. The Panthers (28-2), ranked No. 3 by the WBCA, defeated the fourth-seeded University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons, 69-66, in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.
Notes: USI is making its fifth trip to the GLVC Tournament title game and its first since losing to Drury, 69-66, in 2015…the Eagles are 3-1 all-time in the GLVC Championship…Grooms matched her season-high with her 27 points against Lewis…she was 12-of-15 from the free throw line after going 4-of-9 from the free throw line in a 72-71 loss to Lewis last week.