University Center, MI (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball outscored host Saginaw Valley State University 25-11 in the fourth quarter to defeat the Cardinals, 67-58, in a Midwest Region bout Sunday afternoon.
USI (1-1) trailed by as many as eight points midway through the third period and 47-42 heading into the final 10 minutes, but a 7-0 run to begin the period put the Eagles in front for the first time since leading 24-22 with just over two minutes to play in the first half.
Senior guard Alex Davidson who finished with a career-high 24 points, began the run with a three-pointer, while a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Emma DeHart tied the game at 47-47.
Sophomore forward Imani Guy briefly put the Eagles in front, 49-47, with just under seven minutes to play, while a layup by junior guard Ashley Johnson gave USI a 51-49 edge they would not relinquish.
The Screaming Eagles continued what turned out to be a 16-2 outburst that took up the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter when senior forward Kacy Eschweiler connected on a pair of free throws. A bucket by Eschweiler and a three-pointer by DeHart had the Eagles in front 58-49 with three minutes to play.
USI, which was 2-of-9 (.222) from the free throw line in its 72-71 loss to Northwood University Friday night, hit 5-of-6 free throws in the closing minutes to help preserve the victory. The Eagles finished the day 12-of-15 (.800) from the charity stripe Sunday.
In addition to her scoring effort, Davidson dished out a career-high seven assists, while pulling down a career-high tying seven rebounds. She also had three blocks and a pair of steals.
Eschweiler and DeHart joined Davidson in double-figures, with Eschweiler pouring in 16 points and three steals and DeHart contributing 12 points, three assists and a pair of steals. Johnson finished with eight points, five assists and three steals, while Guy added seven points and six rebounds. Senior forward/center Mikayla Rowan had a game-high nine rebounds.
Freshman guard Maddie Maloney had 18 points to lead the Cardinals (0-2), while senior forward Abby Duffy finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
USI racked up 16 assists and had just 13 turnovers. The Eagles finished with 14 steals, forcing the Cardinals into 19 turnovers.
After allowing the Cardinals to connected on 45.5 percent (5-11) from the field in the second quarter and 58.3 percent (7-12) in the third period, USI held Saginaw Valley State to just 26.7 percent (4-15) from the field in the final 10 minutes. The Eagles, who shot just 18.8 percent (3-16) from the field in the second quarter, finished the game by making 7-of-13 (.537) shots from the field in the final 10 minutes.
USI returns to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. when it hosts Lincoln Memorial University in its 2018-19 home-opener at the Physical Activities Center. The Railsplitters (1-1) are coming off a 94-76 win over Georgia Southwestern State University Saturday in St. Augustine, Florida.