USI Women’s Basketball opens GLVC play this week


University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball begins Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. when it hosts 2017 NCAA II Tournament participant and GLVC Tournament runner-up Lewis University at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (6-0, 0-0 GLVC), which jumped three spots to No. 14 in the latest Division II Media Poll, also visits the University of Indianapolis Saturday at noon. The Screaming Eagles also are receiving votes just outside the Top 25 of the USA Today Sports/Division II Coaches’ Poll and are ranked No. 1 in the nation by

Both games this week can be heard on WSWI 95.7 FM, while live stats and GLVC Sports Network coverage can be accessed at

USI Women’s Basketball Notes (11/28)
• Last week.
USI Women’s Basketball used a pair of dominating defensive efforts to earn Midwest Region wins over No. 25 Grand Valley State University and Northern Michigan University at the Bellarmine Thanksgiving Classic. The Eagles held Grand Valley State to just 15 field goals and 28.6 percent shooting in a 53-44 win Saturday; then limited Northern Michigan to just 17 field goals and 36.2 percent shooting in a 59-49 win Sunday.

• Leaders. Senior guard/forward Kaydie Grooms averaged 18.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest to lead the Eagles last week. Junior forward Kacy Eschweiler chipped in 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while senior forward Morgan Dahlstrom contributed 12.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per outing. Grooms had 27 points and nine rebounds in USI’s win over Grand Valley State, while Eschweiler finished with a career-high 23 points in USI’s win over Northern Michigan.

• And then there was one. At 6-0 on the year, USI enters the first week of GLVC play as the only unbeaten team in the conference. The Eagles are one of 33 teams in the nation and three teams in the Midwest Region to enter the week with an unblemished mark.

• Eagles ranked No. 1 by USI is ranked No. 1 in the nation according to the latest rankings. USI is buoyed by its wins over No. 5 Grand Valley State and No. 6 Wayne State. The Eagles are No. 4 in the latest Massey Ratings.

• USI in the Top 25. The Eagles jumped three spots to No. 14 in the latest Division II Media Poll and are the top team receiving votes outside the Top 25 of the USA Today Sports/NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll.

• Eagles limit opponents to single-digit quarters. USI has limited the opposition to less than 10 points in a quarter six times this year, including four times at the Bellarmine Thanksgiving Classic. The Eagles held Grand Valley State to single digits in three quarters.

• Eagles continue to rule second half. The Eagles have outscored their opponents by an average of 20.3 points per contest in the second halves of their first six contests. That included a 30-6 third-quarter in USI’s win over Ohio Dominican as well as a 24-2 third quarter in USI’s win over Northwood.

• Eschweiler notches career-high. Eschweiler had a career-high 23 points in USI’s win over Northern Michigan, topping her previous mark of 17, which was set in a win over Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras last December. Eschweiler went 9-of-16 from the field and 3-of-6 from downtown while compiling five rebounds.

• Up next. USI opens GLVC play this week with a home game against East Division rival Lewis and a road game against in-state rival Indianapolis. The Eagles went 2-1 against the Flyers and Greyhounds a year ago, earning regular-season wins over both opponents before falling to Indianapolis in the quarterfinals of the GLVC Tournament.

• A look at Lewis. Led by the reigning GLVC Player of the Year in junior forward Jessica Kelliher, the Flyers begin GLVC play with a 4-2 record after earning Midwest Region wins over Purdue University Northwest and Ferris State University last week. Kelliher leads the GLVC and ranks among the national leaders with 26.8 points per contest.

• A look at Indianapolis. The Greyhounds broke a four-game losing streak to begin the year with a 60-58 win over Tiffin last week, but a 77-55 setback at Cedarville Monday has UIndy beginning the week on a sour note. Led by the GLVC’s second-leading scorer in senior guard Martha Burse (19.3 ppg), Indianapolis visits UW-Parkside Thursday before hosting USI Saturday.

• What’s ahead? Following this week’s action, the Eagles will get a two-week break before returning to the court for a bout with NAIA opponent Harris-Stowe State University December 16. The Eagles play three non-conference opponents, including a road trip to 2017 NCAA II Tournament participant Lincoln Memorial University December 19, before resuming GLVC play January 4.

• Record book watch. Three players are in currently in USI’s record books:
–Kaydie Grooms is 13th in scoring (1,126), is tied for 17th in blocks (48) and 23rd in rebounds (417).
–Randa Harshbarger is eighth in assists (282);
–Morgan Dahlstrom is 14th in rebounds (506), tied for 15th in blocks (52) and 40th in scoring (653).

• USI in statistical rankings. USI begins the week ranked first in the GLVC in scoring margin (+22.3), scoring defense (49.3 ppg), steals (12.8 spg) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.242). The Eagles rank in the top five of 11 GLVC statistical categories and in the top 25 of five NCAA II statistical categories.

• Eagles in statistical rankings. Several Eagles are in the top 15 of GLVC statlstical categories:
–Morgan Dahlstrom (8 categories) ranks No. 1 in rebounding (10.5 rpg), first in defensive rebounds (7.2 drpg) and is tied for first in double-doubles (3);
–Alex Davidson (1 category) is No. 11 in 3-point field goal percentage (.444);
–Kacy Eschweiler (1 category) is No. 6 in blocks (1.3 bpg);
–Kaydie Grooms (5 categories) is No. 3 in scoring (18.7 ppg);
–Imani Guy is tied for 10th in blocks (1.2 bpg)
–Randa Harshbarger (3 categories) is No. 1 in steals (4.5 spg) and second in the nation in total steals (25).