The Screaming Eagles, who received 66 points and 10 first-place votes in the GLVC Preseason Poll, return seven players and three starters from a 2019-20 team that qualified for the NCAA II Tournament. That list includes second-team All-GLVC senior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) and sophomore forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio), who was named to the GLVC All-Freshman team a year ago.
DeHart averaged 11.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 2019-20, Haithcock averaged 11.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest a year ago. Junior forward Ashlynn Brown(Perrysburg, Ohio) chipped in 6.4 points and a team-high 5.7 rebounds per appearance last season.
USI, which was 18-9 overall and 13-5 in GLVC play a year ago, finished second in the GLVC Points Rating System last season as the conference was not separated out by divisions. This year marks the first time since 2017-18 at the GLVC has been separated by divisions.
Following the Eagles in the East Division Poll was Lewis University, which received 57 points and five first-place votes. The University of Indianapolis (46 points), McKendree University (26 points) and the University of Illinois Springfield (25 points) rounded out the East Division predictions.
GLVC coaches predicted that Truman State University (65 points/nine first-place votes) would win the Central Division; followed by Lindenwood University (56 points/four first-place votes), Maryville University (46 points/two first-place votes), the University of Missouri-St. Louis (35 points) and Quincy University (18 points).
Drury University (70 points/14 first-place votes) was the unanimous choice to win the West Division, while Southwest Baptist University (44 points), William Jewell College (41 points/one first-place vote), Rockhurst University (39 points) and Missouri University of Science & Technology (26 points) rounded out the GLVC West Division predictions.
USI opens its 22-game, GLVC-only schedule November 27 when it hosts Rockhurst in a 1 p.m. tip-off at Screaming Eagles Arena. All of USI’s games this season will be carried live on the GLVC Sports Network, while 95.7 The Spin will carry the games on the airwaves.