The 69-63 final score doesn’t do justice to how USI’s women’s basketball team took it to Maryville on Saturday. Some numbers: USI outscored the Saints 30-14 in the paint, 22-14 off turnovers, 20-8 on second-chance points, 4-0 on fast-break points and 22-15 off the bench. Maryville shot just 31.8 percent from the field for the game while USI shot 41 percent. The Eagles also passed out 18 assists to Maryville’s 11, and the rebounding discrepancy was 45-42 in USI’s favor.
That the Saints had more offensive rebounds (16-14) and more steals (12-10) is minor. A key stat is the 3-point shooting. Maryville went 8-for-26 — a lousy 30.8 percent — from beyond the arc, but USI took only 12 3-point shots and hit just two of them. That’s a difference of 18 points right there. If Stephanie Carpenter had made three of the four treys she took and missed, that difference would have been cut in half.
Speaking of Carp, I think she’s just in a small slump. She didn’t look particularly sharp in the Missouri-St. Louis win even though she scored a team-high 13 points — remember, she was 3-for-11 from the field, 2-for-6 from 3-point land. She doesn’t appear to be shooting any differently, and she’s driving to the hoop just as much as ever. She’s not backing off, in other words. Shooters in a slump tend to get gun shy, so to speak, and all but stop shooting. Not Carpenter. And she played 35 minutes on Saturday — more than anybody else on the team — so coach Rick Stein isn’t worried. When she does come out of that slump — as Keith Jackson used to say: Whoa, Nellie!