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 January 16, 2013

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. --- If there ever were a gym that the Prairie State College women’s basketball team considered a house of pain it most certainly would be Erickson Hall, home of Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference counterpart Waubonsee.

The Pioneers, despite several sterling efforts over the past several years, had never garnered a win on the Chiefs’ home floor in head coach Jeff Boyd’s seven seasons at the helm.

That unflattering blemish disappeared Tuesday night.

Paced by a well-balanced offensive attack featuring four double-digit scorers, PSC finally prevailed in Sugar Grove, downing the Chiefs in convincing fashion, 62-49.

PSC (8-7, 2-0) was paced by a season-high 14 points from sophomore point guard Latoi Merriweather (Merrillville H.S., Ind.). Tuesday marked Merriweather’s seventh twin-digit scoring effort of the campaign and her third consecutive.

The 5-foot-2 Merriweather also dished out four assists while making off with four steals.

Freshman guard Nijea Dixon (Joliet Central H.S.) was just a tally behind Merriweather, notching 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. The outing was her 12th in double figures and also her third straight. The 5-foot-6 Dixon also pulled down four rebounds, handed out four assists and picked up two steals.

Sophomore Danielle Zandstra (Heritage Christian H.S., Ind.) and freshman forward Mandie Green (Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.) both recorded 11-point evenings.

Green registered her third double-double of the slate, pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds. She also has scored in double figures in each of her last three contests.

Zandstra hauled in five caroms and swatted away four shots.

Freshman Shanterra Jones (East Chicago Central H.S., Ind.), (8 points, 9 rebounds) and freshman forward Faith Foulks (Thornridge H.S.), (3 points, 4 rebounds) also made solid contributions.

The Pioneers endured a see-saw affair throughout the game’s first 10 minutes before a layup by Merriweather pushed PSC into the driver’s seat at 16-14 with 11:26 to play. The Pioneers would never look back.

A 6-0 Prairie State run was capped by a jumper from Dixon and established a 25-16 advantage midway through the period.

A field goal from Foulks with one second remaining in the opening half sent PSC to the locker room firmly in command of the tilt at 34-24.

The Pioneers established their largest lead of the evening at 50-32 following a three-pointer from Jones with 8:57 left.

Tuesday’s triumph was the 102nd of Boyd’s tenure at PSC.

The Pioneers will now host league foe Oakton Thursday at the PSC Field House (5 p.m.).

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