USI Advances to GLVC Tourney Finals

USI Advances to GLVC Tourney Finals

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.

USI also got nine points from junior center Kacy Eschweiler (St. Charles, Missouri) as well as eight points off the bench from sophomore guard/forwardMorgan Sherwood (Charleston, Illinois). Senior guardRanda Harshbarger (Philo, Illinois) chipped in five points, five rebounds and seven assists.

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.

Courtesy:  USI Sports Information Dept.