CHARLESTON, Ill. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball senior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Court House, Ohio) posted a career-high 25 points on Saturday, Dec. 31 to surpass 1,000 points in her career. Despite the career performance, Southern Indiana (7-6, 1-1) could not pick up the road win at Eastern Illinois University (10-3, 2-0), as the Panthers claimed a 69-58 win.
Haithcock earned her 1,000th career point with her first bucket of the game in the first quarter. She became the 20th player in USI Women’s Basketball history to reach the 1,000-point career mark.
The game began with a slow offensive start for both teams, as the game was 3-2 Eastern Illinois nearly three and a half minutes into the game. Senior guard Tori Handley (Jeffersonville, Indiana) scored USI’s first points of the game on a three-pointer.
Midway into the first quarter, Eastern Illinois started a small run to grab a 14-5 lead by the time the clock read less than two minutes remaining in the first. The quarter finished on a last-second bucket by junior forward Meredith Raley (Haubstadt, Indiana). EIU led 16-9 after one period of play.
The offensive basket still went unkind to USI in the second quarter. Eastern Illinois increased its lead following a 9-0 run in the middle of the period and then holding USI scoreless for the last two minutes of the first half. EIU outscored USI 22-10 in the second, as the Panthers shot over 50 percent during the quarter.
With only a pair of makes from the floor in the second quarter, USI did go a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the second quarter. Haithcock made four of USI’s six free throws in the quarter.
Eastern Illinois took a 38-19 lead into the halftime locker room. Haithcock led Southern Indiana with eight points at the break. The Screaming Eagles had a plus-seven advantage in overall rebounding and on the offensive glass after the first half.
Southern Indiana came out of halftime being assertive inside and out. Haithcock scored back-to-back buckets to get USI going to start the third quarter. Trailing by 17 with 8:35 left in the third, USI went on an 8-0 run to trim the deficit down to nine, 40-31. Halfway into the third quarter, USI received a pair of triples from sophomore guard Vanessa Shafford (Linton, Indiana) to make it an eight-point game, 44-36 EIU with 5:26 left in the third.
Eastern Illinois proceeded to answer with a 9-0 run to move the Panthers’ lead back to double digits, 53-36. Inside the last three minutes of the third quarter, both teams exchanged offensive baskets and Eastern Illinois took a 17-point lead to the fourth quarter, 58-41.
Southern Indiana’s seniors led a solid push for USI at the start of the fourth quarter. Within the first five minutes, Haithcock tallied five points, being aggressive inside. At the 5:53 mark, senior forward Tara Robbe (Wildwood, Missouri) connected on a mid-range jumper while Haithcock was fouled away from the play. Haithcock completed the play at the free-throw line to make the score 64-50 EIU.
The game went scoreless over the next two and a half minutes. USI made a fightback late in the fourth quarter. Haithcock put one into the hoop with 2:27 on the clock to bring USI back within 13, 68-55. The basket gave the senior a career-best 25 points. The Screaming Eagles could not muster enough offense the rest of the way, as the Panthers registered the win Saturday afternoon.
Haithcock led all scorers on the day with 25 points on 8-16 shooting and 9-14 at the line. Haithcock was a rebound shy of a double-double. Shafford tallied 12 points with eight rebounds. Robbe matched a season-high nine points for the fourth time this season.
After a slow offensive start to the game, USI went on to shoot for 38 percent (19-50) in the game with three triples. USI was 17-for-25 at the line. The Screaming Eagles outrebounded the Panthers 37-29, including 14-9 on the offensive boards.
Eastern Illinois was led by senior guard Lariah Washington with 23 points. Sophomore guard Miah Monahan also had a good day for EIU, recording 20 points. As a team, EIU shot 45.3 percent (24-53) from the field with six threes. At the stripe, EIU went 15-for-22.