Feb. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Southern Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind.--Junior guards Amie Newhart (Mulberry, Indiana) and Ellen Young (Salem, Illinois) combined for 56 points as the University of Southern Indiana women's basketball team stunned previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked University of Indianapolis Saturday afternoon at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (18-7, 9-5 GLVC), which grabbed its first win over a top-five team since upending No. 1 Northern Kentucky University, 72-62, on January 6, 2001, used a 25-7 run in the first half to build a commanding 44-22 lead with 3:29 to play in the first period.

The Screaming Eagles shot 53.3 percent from the field and drained seven three-pointers in the first half as they jumped out to what seemed to be an insurmountable lead.

Indianapolis (24-1, 15-1 GLVC), however, proved why it is the second-ranked team in the country and the top-ranked team in the NCAA II Midwest Region as it held the Eagles to just one shot throughout the final 3:29 of the first half.

The Greyhounds scored the final 10 points of the period to close the deficit to 12 points (44-32) at the intermission; then slowly chipped away at the Eagles' lead in the second period before a three-pointer by senior guard Katie Dewey pulled Indianapolis into a 62-62 tie with eight minutes to play in the contest.

USI briefly found itself in a two-point deficit after junior forward Katie Lyons converted a layup to give the Greyhounds a 64-62 lead with seven minutes to play. Young, however, drove the paint 40 seconds later to tie the contest at 64 with a layup, then Newhart connected on a three-pointer to give USI a three-point lead and momentum with five minutes to play.

With the score tied at 73 with just over a minute to play, Young stepped up again to give the Eagles a 75-73 lead when she got a layup to fall through the hoop.

The Eagles benefitted from a missed layup by sophomore guard Cayla Keegan in the ensuing possession as senior forward Anaris Sickles (Harrodsburg, Kentucky) corralled the missed shot to give the Eagles possession and the chance to win the game at the free throw line. Sickles finished with four points, but had a game-high eight rebounds and three steals.

USI, which converted 23-of-26 free throws, made seven of its final eight free throw attempts in the final 30 seconds to ice the game and give the Eagles their third win in the last four games.

Newhart, who was a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe and 8-of-11 from the field, converted all six of her attempts in the final 30 seconds as she paced all scorers with a career-high 30 points to go along with four assists. Young drained five three-pointers to finish with 26 points for the Eagles, who improved to 12-0 at the PAC this season.

Senior guard Jessica Canary led the Greyhounds with 22 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, while junior forward Samantha Meissel finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

USI returns to action Monday when it hosts Kentucky Wesleyan College at 5:15 p.m. The Panthers (12-13, 5-11 GLVC) fell to Northern Kentucky, 57-54, Saturday in Owensboro, Kentucky.