USI Women Fall to Drury, in GLVC Championship

USI Women Fall to Drury, in GLVC Championship

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (WFIE) - Despite getting a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds from senior forward Morgan Dahlstrom (Grayslake, Illinois), No. 15/17 University of Southern Indiana Women's Basketball suffered a 62-52 setback to top-seeded and nationally-ranked No. 3 Drury University in the championship game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Vadalabene Center.
 
After rallying from a 12-point first-quarter deficit to take a 38-33 lead three minutes into the third period, the second-seeded Screaming Eagles saw the Panthers go on a 15-2 run that spilt into the early stages of the fourth quarter.
 
Trailing 50-42 early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles got buckets from Dahlstrom and junior forward/center Mikayla Rowan (Brazil, Indiana) to cut the Panthers' lead in half.
 
That was as close as the Eagles (26-4) would get as Drury (29-2) responded with five straight points to steal momentum from USI and build a 55-46 advantage with less than five minutes to play.
 
The Eagles struggled early in the contest as 11 first-quarter turnovers put the Eagles into a 24-12 deficit heading into the second period.
 
USI, however, responded as it held the Panthers to just 1-of-10 (.100) shooting in the second frame. The Eagles outscored Drury 19-7 in the second quarter to even the score at 31-31 heading into the intermission.
 
A layup by junior forward Kacy Eschweiler (St. Charles, Missouri) early in the second half gave the Eagles their first lead; while a three-pointer by senior guard/forward Kaydie Grooms (Marshall, Illinois) put USI in front, 36-31, with just over a minute gone by in the third period.
 
After going up 38-33 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter, the Eagles went just 1-of-4 (.250) from the field while committing six turnovers during the 15-2 run that took eight minutes off the clock.
 
In addition to Dahlstrom, the Eagles got nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals from Grooms, who joined Dahlstrom on the All-Tournament team.
 
Freshman forward Azia Lynch had 13 points to lead the Panthers, who forced the Eagles into a season-high 31 turnovers. Sophomore forward Hailey Diestelkamp had 12 points and nine rebounds and was named the GLVC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
 
USI learns its NCAA II Tournament fate Sunday night when the NCAA II Tournament selections are announced at 9 a.m. (CST) on NCAA.com. The Eagles are hosting a pairings party at Azzip Pizza on Pearl Drive beginning at 8:30 p.m.
 
Notes: USI fell to 3-2 all-time in GLVC Tournament title games, with both losses coming to Drury (2015, 2018)…the Eagles are searching for their first NCAA II Tournament bid since 2015 and their 10th in program history.

Courtesy:  USI Sports Information Dept.  Copyright 2018, WFIE, All rights reserved.