COLUMN: Can the Lady Screagles Create a Dominant Presence in the GLVC?

Jerry McCartney

As we reach the second stretch of the USI women’s basketball season, the Lady Screagles present an impressive 14-5 record overall. They are 6-3 in the GLVC and look to make an impact in the conference tournament as it approaches in March.

The women’s team has taken conference losses to Drury, Wisconsin-Parkside, and the undefeated, No. 1 nationally ranked Lewis University. All three teams are currently ranked higher than USI in the GLVC standings.

The Lady Screagles are tied for third in the eastern division with the University of Indianapolis, which USI is scheduled to play on February 19, for the second time this season. USI defeated the Greyhounds earlier this season by a 10-point deficit, proving they are no match for our Lady Screagles.

Finishing the season should not be difficult for the  women’s team as the players have proven their talent to be superior compared to their upcoming opponents in February. Focus should be placed on defeating the University of Indianapolis and finishing out the season victorious over possible upsets.

Doing so would prove that USI is not a “middle-of-the-road” team in the GLVC, which is what the Eagle’s appear to be thus far. I believe the women’s team can make a serious impact in the March tournament despite the losses to the three top contenders in both the Eastern and Western GLVC conference.

The team scores well and has no issues with playing lock-down defense. It may not be an easy task to overcome the losses to these three dominant teams, but I can guarantee if the Lady Screagles want to be league champions, the team will have to be able to defeat one, if not two of these talented teams in the tournament.

The women’s team has a promising chance at becoming GLVC champs if it can conquer the opponents it has had trouble with prior to tournament play. Although USI has clearly shown it is a competitor in the GLVC conference, it also shows signs of weakness by not defeating top teams that reside at the top of the standings.

It will truly be an underdog story for the books if the women’s team can come out on top at the end of the tournament, but it can be done and I believe the team has the talent to do it. The ladies have defeated all the teams they needed to to prove they are the best “middle-of-the-road” team in the GLVC, but the best team in the conference will be the one walking home with the GLVC Tournament Championship.

As many know, tournament play is filled with upsets and low seeded teams defeating top seeded teams year after year. Specifically in basketball, the ball can bounce either way on any given night and the USI women’s team will need to capitalize on these opportunities as they are presented during play.

Right now, USI is not the best team in the GLVC and the players have much to prove in showing that they are. Doubts remain as to whether USI can compete in the tournament, but the women’s team will have its work cut out for it in tournament play, never the less.

However, no doubts remain about whether or not the Lady Screagles have the work ethic and talent to overcome adversity and to come together as a team, to defeat the opponents, to create a true underdog victory or two, and to become the next GLVC Women’s Basketball Champions.