Eagles pick up preseason ranking

Eagles pick up preseason ranking
... (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball landed a spot in the Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25 poll. The Screaming Eagles were ranked No. 18 in the poll, which was released earlier this week.

USI was one of two Great Lakes Valley Conference teams positioned in the Top 25, with 2019 national finalist and defending league champion Drury University sitting at No. 2 in the poll.

The Screaming Eagles, who were 20-9 overall and 13-5 in the GLVC a year ago, return five players from the 2018-19 campaign, including a pair of starters in senior guard Ashley Johnson (Louisville, Kentucky) and junior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana).

DeHart was fourth on the team in scoring a year ago with 9.6 points per game, while Johnson was fifth with 9.1 points per contest.

Also returning for the Eagles is senior guard/forward Morgan Sherwood (Charleston, Illinois), 6-foot-4 junior center Audrey Turner (Fishers, Indiana) and sophomore forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio).

Sherwood battled injury a year ago after playing an important role off the bench as a sophomore during USI’s run to the 2018 NCAA II Tournament. Turner saw her role off the bench expand a year ago and figures to continue that expansion into the 2019-20 season; while Brown averaged 3.1 points per game despite playing just 8.5 minutes per game as a freshman in 2018-19.

USI welcomes six newcomers into the fold in 2019-20, including 5-foot-9 senior guard Kiara Moses (Urbana, Illinois) and 6-foot-1 junior forward Chyna Anthony (New Albany, Indiana).

Moses averaged 4.3 points per game as a junior for Arkansas Tech University a year ago after racking up 152 assists and 131 steals as a sophomore at Kankakee Community College during her sophomore year in 2017-18. Anthony played in 22 games during her first two years of collegiate basketball at Division I Northern Kentucky University.

The Eagles’ freshman class includes 5-foot-4 guard Addy Blackwell (Bloomington, Indiana), 6-foot-0 forwards Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) and Tara Robbe (Wildwood, Missouri), and 5-foot-11 guard/forward Lexi Thompson (Lafayette, Indiana).

Blackwell was a two-time All-State honoree at Bloomington South High School, while Haithcock was a first-team Division II All-Ohio performer after averaging 17 points per game as a senior at Washington High School.

Robbe was a three-time All-Conference and All-District honoree at Lafayette High School (Missouri), where she averaged 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a senior in 2018-19. Thompson was an All-Hoosier Conference honoree after averaging 13.1 throughout her four years at Lafayette Central Catholic High School (Indiana).

USI opens the 2019-20 exhibition season October 30 when it travels to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on the University of Kentucky. The Eagles, who also visit Purdue University for an exhibition November 3, begin the regular-season November 13 when they host the University of Central Missouri in the first-ever collegiate basketball game at Screaming Eagles Arena.

Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25

1. Lubbock Christian

2. Drury

3. Indiana-Pa.

4. Fort Hays State

5. Grand Valley State

6. Azusa Pacific

7. Florida Southern

8. Virginia Union

9. Union

10. Ashland

11. USciences

12. West Texas A&M

13. Glenville St.

14. Central Missouri

15. UC San Diego

16. Anderson

17. Harding

18. Southern Indiana

19. LeMoyne

20. Lander

21. SW Oklahoma

22. NW Nazarene

23. Bentley

24. St. Thomas Aquinas

25. Alaska Anchorage

Others to Watch Carson-Newman, Jefferson, Bloomsburg, Lee, Edinboro, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Barton, Mary, Colorado Mines, Nova Southeastern, Saint Anselm, Benedict, Walsh, NY Institue of Technology

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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