Eagles fall to No. 1 Flyers

Sarah Loesch

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The women’s basketball team lost to Lewis University with a final score of 83-73 Saturday afternoon in the Physical Activities Center. Lewis University is currently ranked No. 1 in the GLVC.

USI managed to stay close to Lewis for a majority of the first half, but with 5:47 left to play in the first half, the Flyers started a 10-0 run, which brought the score to 29-41. The Eagles managed to lower the deficit some and went into halftime at 34-46.

In the first half, the Eagles shot 14-33 from the field and 3-10 from three-point range. The Flyers were 17-38 from the field and shot 8-17 from the three-point line. The free throw stats were close, with Lewis shooting 80 percent and USI shooting 75 percent.

The second half started with the Flyers continuing to grow its lead. With 13 minutes left to play the the team brought the lead to 21 points. The Eagles rallied a bit at the end, but could never quite overcome the early lead the Flyers had on them.

USI outscored Lewis 16-4 at the end of the second half, which brought the final score to 73 points.

USI had a 45.7 percent shooting percentage from the field and was 5-10 from the three-point line. The Eagles shot 50 percent from the free throw line.

Lewis had a better percentage from the field, shooting 50 percent, but fell behind when it came to three-point shots, shooting only 36.4 percent in the second. The team came ahead again from the free throw line, where they shot 83.3 percent.

Lewis ended the game with better percentages from the field, three-point range and the free throw line. But USI ended with more points in the paint with 32-18. They also had more points off the bench when the final buzzer sounded at 25-21.

Eighteen of those bench points came from sophomore guard Tanner Marcum.

Coach Stein said the depth of the team is one thing that makes it good and that the bench has to be good not only for points, but for defense, rebounds and assists.

“We’re a team that relies heavily on balance from inside and out,” Stein said.

Marcum said she just tries to play hard and that’s all she can do.

“I just try to play my best when I come out, and play my role,” Marcum said.

Other leading scorers were senior forward Anna Hackert with 19 and freshman guard Kaydie Grooms with 12. One name missing from that list is senior forward Mary O’Keefe, who was held to just four points by Lewis.

“You gotta credit Lewis,” Stein said. “They’re number one in the conference. They took away some of her strengths and made it a little rough for her down in the post.”

The team now has to look ahead to a road game Thursday against McKendree University.

“Nothing gets any easier,” Stein said. “We are taking it one game at a time. We gotta find a way to be better coming into next week. We’re at a time of the year when everyone’s good. It’s the conference; there are no bad teams.”