University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball used a stifling defensive effort in the opening half to cruise past NAIA opponent Lindenwood University-Belleville, 75-42, Tuesday evening at the Physical Activities Center.
The Screaming Eagles (8-1) held the Lynx to just one first-quarter field goal and 3-of-24 (.111) shooting in the opening half en route to a 36-12 halftime advantage. USI used a 17-0 run that spanned the final three minutes of the first quarter and the first three minutes of the second period to essentially put the result of the contest out of question.
Lindenwood-Belleville (3-8) held its ground in the third period as each team scored 23 points, but a 16-7 fourth quarter that went in favor of USI led to the 33-point margin of victory.
Sophomore guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) had 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead the Eagles, while senior center Kacy Eschweiler (St. Charles, Missouri) added 12 points and eight rebounds.
USI also got 10 points, seven rebounds and a game-high five assists from senior guard Alex Davidson (Salem, Indiana), while junior guard Ashley Johnson (Louisville, Kentucky) and sophomore forward Imani Guy (Columbus, Indiana) added 10 and nine points, respectively.
Junior guard Brianna Mueller led the Lynx with a game-high 18 points.
The Eagles return to action December 18 at 6 p.m. when they travel to Warrensburg, Missouri, to take on defending national champion and current No. 7-ranked University of Central Missouri. USI hosts 2017 national champion and current No. 1-ranked Ashland University December 30 to close out its non-conference schedule.
Control the lane
USI out-rebounded the Lynx, 53-30, and held a 40-16 advantage on points in the paint.
The Eagles shot 42.0 percent (29-69) from the field and 53.8 percent (7-13) from behind the arc, while the Lynx were held to 25.5 percent (13-51) from the field and 20.0 percent (4-20) from downtown.
USI continues to struggle from the free throw line where it went just 10-of-18 (.556) Tuesday night. The Lynx, however, sank 12-of-13 (.923) from the free throw line on the evening.
The Eagles had 21 assists on the night and saw all 11 players in uniform find the scoring column.
Home winning streak
USI’s home winning streak improved to 28 straight Tuesday night, the second-longest streak in program history. The Eagles won a school-record 33 straight home games from 1996-98 and 23 straight games from 2000-02.
Receiving a vote
USI received one vote in the latest D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll Tuesday, marking the first time this season the Eagles have been mentioned in that poll. The Eagles received votes in the preseason Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and were ranked No. 19 by Division II Bulletin in the preseason. USI is currently No. 20 in the herosports.com rankings.