Balanced attack lifts USI women’s basketball over UIndy

Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 11:41 PM CST
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INDIANAPOLIS (WFIE) - Six University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball players reached double-figures in the scoring column as the Screaming Eagles earned an 89-78 Great Lakes Valley Conference road win over host University of Indianapolis, Saturday afternoon at Nicoson Hall.

The Screaming Eagles (10-2, 4-0 GLVC) forced the Greyhounds into 29 turnovers, including six in a game-altering 19-9 run during the final seven minutes of the opening half that saw USI turn a three-point deficit into a 43-35 halftime advantage.

USI extended that lead to double-digits three minutes into the third period and led by 12 with three minutes to play in the third frame before a U-Indy run closed the gap.

The Greyhounds (4-9, 1-4 GLVC) outscored the Eagles 9-2 throughout the final two minutes of the third period to cut their deficit to 62-58 heading into the final 10 minutes of the contest.

USI, however, got a free throw from junior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) followed three-pointers from freshman guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) and junior guard Addy Blackwell (Bloomington, Indiana) as the Eagles scored seven points in a 40-second span to push their lead back to double-figures less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.

U-Indy stayed within reach of the Eagles throughout the next few minutes, but a pair of Shafford layups put USI up by 12 with five-and-a-half minutes to play, while fifth-year senior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around two free throws to put USI up, 83-69, two minutes later.

The Eagles, who turned U-Indy’s offensive miscues into 39 points, finished with 16 steals while committing just 12 of their own turnovers.

Haithcock, who came off the bench to help USI’s reserves outscore U-Indy’s bench players 36-19, led the Eagles with 15 points and six rebounds. Shafford added 14 points, a team-high tying seven rebounds and three steals, while DeHart and Blackwell each had 14 points.

Sophomore forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana) added 12 points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio) chipped in 11 points to go along with a team-high tying three assists and three steals. DeHart also had three assists.

The six players USI had score in double-figures marked the most players they have had reach double-digits since they had six reach double-digits in a 92-73 home win over the University of Missouri-St. Louis January 22, 2009.

U-Indy, meanwhile, was led by sophomore guard Marissa Knobloch and senior forward Liz Alsot. Knobloch led all scorers with 26 points, while Alsot had 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Ilani Williams-Harris made headlines by breaking a 37-year old school-record with 15 assists.

USI returns to action Monday 5:30 p.m. when it hosts McKendree University in men’s and women’s doubleheader at Screaming Eagles Arena. The Bearcats (2-10, 1-3 GLVC) saw their game against Lewis University Saturday canceled due to health and safety protocols within the Flyer’s program.

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