December 14, 2004
USI menís basketball goes to Michigan for a pair
Screaming Eagles remain 15th nationally
EVANSVILLE, Ind. Ė The 15th-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball travels to Big Rapids, Michigan, for a pair of games in the Lions Club Holiday Classic hosted by Ferris State University. USI will play FSU December 20 at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and Wayne State University December 21 at 4:30 p.m. (CT).
The Screaming Eagles (5-2) remained 15th in the NABC/Division II Top 25 poll after defeating the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 83-63, last weekend. USI was the only GLVC team in the top 25 and followed the Great Lakes Regionís University of Findlay, which was ranked 10th. The GLVCís Northern Kentucky University and the GLIACís Michigan Tech University also received votes.
USI junior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky) and sophomore forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana) led five players in double figures against UMSL with 14 points each off the bench. Senior center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri) leads the Eagles for the season with 14.3 ppg and junior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) is averaging 13.1 ppg and a team-best 9.9 rpg.
The first opponent in 12 days for the Eagles will be Ferris State (6-2). The Bulldogs are 2-2 in their last four games after starting the year with four straight wins. FSU fell in its last game, 82-79 in overtime, to Saginaw Valley State University on the road.
FSU senior guard Carlton Epps leads the Bulldogs with 20.9 ppg, while senior forward Willie Burrel is coming off the bench to score 14.9 ppg and grab a team-high 5.9 rpg.
The Eagles hold a 5-0 lead in the all-time series with FSU, including an 89-62 victory over the Bulldogs at the USI Physical Activities Center last season.
USI concludes the road trip to Michigan by playing Wayne State (4-2) in a rematch of last yearís NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Championship game. The Warriors, who will play Virginia Union University at home and the University of Indianapolis at FSU before playing USI, had their four-game winning streak stopped last week by Hillsdale College, 67-58.
WSU senior guard Morris Hall leads the Warriors with 18.0 ppg, while junior forward Erik Parker is averaging 11.8 ppg and a team-best 7.0 rpg.
USI leads the all-time series with WSU, 3-0, including last seasonís 69-68 victory in the regional championship game.
The Eagles return to the PAC for a four-game homestand after the holidays, beginning with Anderson College from South Carolina on December 31 at 3 p.m.
NABC/Division II Men's Basketball Poll
(Tuesday, December 14, 2004 Regular season poll #3)
††† Team Record
†1. Virginia Union (8) 5-0
†2. Montevallo 9-0
†3. Minnesota State-Mankato 11-0
†4. Metropolitan State 7-0
†5. Western Washington 8-0
†6. Southwestern Oklahoma State 9-0
†7. Washburn 8-1
†8. Bowie State 7-0
†9. Rollins 5-1
10. Findlay 6-1
11. Kennesaw State 7-1
12. Brigham Young-Hawaii 4-1
13. Emporia State 7-0
14. Nebraska-Omaha 9-1
15. Southern Indiana 5-2
16. Bentley 9-2
17. Kutztown 7-1
18. Central Arkansas 7-0
19. Philadelphia 6-2
20. West Georgia 8-0
21. Cal State-San Bernardino 4-0
22. Saint Anselm 6-1
23. Valdosta State 8-1
24. Salem International 4-2
25. Pittsburg State 7-0
Others receiving votes: Indiana (Pa.) 22, Michigan Tech 19, South Dakota 15, Barry 11, Charleston 10, Northwest Missouri State 5, Alaska-Fairbanks 4, Central Missouri State 3, Pfeiffer 3, Lynn 2, Northern Kentucky 2.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information