USI Women’s Basketball Finishes Season-opening Road trip, with loss to Cedarville

Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 6:10 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball suffered an 88-82 overtime loss to host Cedarville University on the second day of the Midwest Region Crossover Saturday afternoon.

The Screaming Eagles (1-1) led by as much as 17 in the second period, but found themselves in an eight-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter. USI, however, rallied to take a brief one-point lead in the final 20 seconds, but missed free throws and a missed opportunities to win the contest in regulation came back to haunt the Eagles as Cedarville buried a pair of three-pointers and went 7-of-8 at the free throw line in the extra period to pull out the six-point win.

USI, which was whistled for 28 fouls, went just 2-of-10 (.200) from the field in overtime after opening the game by shooting 61.1 percent (11-18) in the first period.

The Eagles dominated the lane throughout the contest, particularly in the first 10 minutes when they outscored the Yellow Jackets 16-6 inside the paint to gain a 26-13 lead heading into the second period. USI extended its advantage to 17 three minutes into the second quarter before foul troubles and three pointers started to chip away at the Eagles’ success.

Cedarville (2-0) went 8-for-8 from the charity stripe and 4-of-6 (.667) from behind the arc throughout the final seven minutes of the half as it got within eight points (45-37) at the intermission. The Eagles were called for six fouls during that stretch, which gave the Yellow Jackets life heading into the second half.

USI got a quick bucket from senior forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio) coming out of the break to go back up by 10, but Cedarville continued to chip away at USI’s advantage as it connected on three shots from long range while holding USI to just four field goals in the third period.

Cedarville eventually took a brief one-point lead late in the third quarter, but a pair of free throws by fifth-year senior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) put the Eagles up 59-58 heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.

The Yellow Jackets dominated the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, going on a 9-0 run to put the Eagles into a 67-59 deficit. However, junior guard Addy Blackwell (Bloomington, Indiana) hit a pair of three-pointers in an 8-2 USI run that closed the gap.

This time, it was USI that slowly and methodically cut into Cedarville’s advantage, eventually taking a 75-74 lead following respective baskets by junior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio), DeHart and Brown.

USI had golden opportunities to extend its lead, but the Eagles went 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-3 from the free throw line in the final minute. Cedarville used a trip to the foul line to tie the score at 75-75 with 10 seconds to play and the Eagles could not get a shot to fall at the buzzer as the two teams went into overtime in a 75-75 stalemate.

Haithcock, who led USI with 18 points and 12 rebounds, gave USI a quick 77-75 lead 15 seconds into the overtime period, but Cedarville answered with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws to take an 80-77 advantage with four minutes to play.

USI, which went just 5-of-11 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and overtime, got to within a point at 81-80, but another Cedarville three-pointer and two more free throws in the final minute sank USI’s chances of a perfect opening weekend.

In addition to Haithcock, USI got 17 points and five rebounds from Brown as well as 15 points and three assists from DeHart. Junior guard Tori Handley (Jeffersonville, Illinois) added seven points to go along with a team-high four assists and three steals.

Junior guard Paige Garr led the Yellow Jackets with 25 points, while senior guard Emily Chapman and junior guard Isabelle Bolender respectively finished with 20 and 19 points. Chapman and Bolender also each had eight rebounds.

USI returns to action Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. when it hosts Davenport University in its home-opener at Screaming Eagles Arena. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the game to help support the Tri-State Food Bank.

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