USI Women’s Hoops picked to finish 4th in GLVC

USI Women’s Hoops picked to finish 4th in GLVC
... (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -Great Lakes Valley Conference Women’s Basketball coaches have predicted a fourth-place finish for University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball in 2019-20 according to the GLVC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released this afternoon.

USI, which has finished in the top three of the GLVC regular-season standings in each of the last three years, received 178 points in the poll. Defending league champion Drury University was a unanimous choice to win the league in 2019-20, while Lewis University and Bellarmine University were picked to finish second and third, respectively, with 190 and 181 points.

League newcomer Lindenwood University rounded out the top five picks with 175 points, while Maryville University (1 first-place vote) and Truman State University were each picked to finish in a tie for sixth.

The top 10 teams were rounded out by McKendree University (119 points), the University of Missouri-St Louis (102 points) and William Jewell College (89 points), while the University of Indianapolis (87 points), Southwest Baptist University (74 points), Rockhurst University (71 points), Missouri University of Science & Technology (50 points), the University of Illinois Springfield (41 points) and Quincy University (20 points) rounded out the predictions.

USI, one of two GLVC teams positioned in the Women’s Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25 poll, went 20-9 overall and 13-5 in league play a year ago. In the last three years, USI has gone 70-19 overall and 45-9 in the GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles 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.

2019-20 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL

Pl. Team Points (1st-place votes)

1. Drury 225 (15)

2. Lewis 190

3. Bellarmine 181

4. Southern Indiana 178

5. Lindenwood 175

6. Maryville 159 (1)

7. Truman State 159

8. McKendree 119

9. Missouri-St. Louis 102

10. William Jewell 89

11. Indianapolis 87

12. Southwest Baptist 74

13. Rockhurst 71

14. Missouri S&T 50

15. Illinois Springfield 41

16. Quincy 20

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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