Eagles’ Season-Long Road Swing Concludes With Loss At Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball had its season-long five-game road swing conclude Sunday afternoon with a 99-57 loss at the University of Cincinnati. The game at Cincinnati wrapped up a two-game trip to Ohio during the weekend for USI.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 10-0 lead to open the game, connecting on three shots and two from three in the first three minutes. Senior guard Mya Jackson hit two from downtown during the early scoring run for the Bearcats.
USI scored at the 5:40 mark after a dump pass inside to senior forward Tara Robbe (Wildwood, Missouri) led to a trip to the free throw line where Robbe converted both free throw attempts. USI tightened up the defense in the second portion of the first quarter, earning multiple stops.
Senior guard Soffia Rieckers (Evansville, Indiana) scored twice in the last 2:30 of the first quarter, driving to the basket and hitting a mid-range, pull-up jumper to make it an 18-8 Cincinnati lead. USI’s defense forced a shot clock violation in the last minute of the first period, and then a buzzer-beating layup by senior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) made the score 18-10 Cincinnati going to the second quarter.
The momentum from the first-period buzzer-beater carried over into the second quarter for Haithcock, who scored two quick baskets in the first minute of the second to bring USI back within seven, 21-14. After that point, the Bearcats improved their advantage by mostly getting to the free-throw line halfway through the second quarter.
Following a layup by junior forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana) with 4:35 remaining until halftime, the Screaming Eagles endured a scoring drought for nearly a four-minute span. Southern Indiana cashed in on five free throws in the last 30 seconds of the first half to snap the scoring skid.
Cincinnati led 43-25 at halftime. Haithcock led USI with eight points after 20 minutes with Rieckers right behind her with 7 points.
At the start of the third quarter, the Screaming Eagles tallied buckets on a layup by Raley and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) to make the score 47-30 Cincinnati. Shafford made her second triple of the period with 5:37 left.
Later in the third, the Bearcats went on an 11-0 run to grab a 73-40 lead before USI’s senior guard Tori Handley (Jeffersonville, Indiana) penetrated inside for a layup with a little over 90 seconds left in the third quarter. Haithcock swished in a face-up jumper with 37 seconds remaining in the third to reach a dozen points in the game. Cincinnati took a 76-45 margin into the fourth period.
Haithcock went to work again to start the fourth period, getting a bucket in the paint to reach 14 points. The Bearcats responded with a 12-0 run over the next three and a half minutes to take an 88-47 lead. Southern Indiana answered with four points over the next couple of possessions, as Robbe was on the receiving end of a solid bounce pass from Haithcock preceding a made hook shot in the lane by Robbe.
Near the three-minute time stamp in the fourth, Screaming Eagles sophomore guard Aubrey Burgess (Linton, Indiana) drained a hook shot. Sophomore guard Takiya Howard (Chicago, Illinois) went 4-4 at the free-throw line late in the fourth quarter after attacking the basket, recording the final points of the day for USI.
For the game, Haithcock led the Screaming Eagles with 14 points on 6-11 shooting. Robbe was second on the day with nine points, hitting a pair of shots from the field and five attempts at the charity stripe.
USI went 20-52 from the floor for 38 percent and 15-19 for 79 percent at the line. Southern Indiana had 27 rebounds with 11 coming on the offensive glass.
Cincinnati was led by Jackson with 19 points on 7-10 shooting overall and four made triples. Three other players finished in double figures for Cincinnati. As a team, the Bearcats shot 30-60 for 50 percent from the field with nine made threes. Cincinnati pulled down 40 rebounds in the contest.
The Screaming Eagles will return home to Screaming Eagles Arena next Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a non-conference season finale against Brescia University (Ky.). The game will be Southern Indiana’s final tune-up before the start of the Ohio Valley Conference season on December 29.