March 12, 2005
USI wins first round game with defensive stand
FINDLAY, Ohio Ė The 4th-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team withstood a poor shooting game with a defensive stand to defeat Gannon University, 67-61, in the first round of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional in Findlay, Ohio. The regional is hosted by The University of Findlay.
Second-seeded USI (27-4) will play third-seeded Ferris State University (23-6) Sunday at 4 p.m. (CST). Ferris State defeated the University of Indianapolis in the regional opener, 99-79. The USI-FSU contest will be a rematch of a December game won by the Bulldogs, 93-82, in the Lions Club Holiday Classic hosted by FSU.
The Screaming Eagles victory also was a school record 17th straight and the 22nd win in the last 23 games
In the game, the Eagles were never able to pull away from the Knights (18-11). The largest lead of the game was 13 points when the Eagles led 46-33 in the opening minutes of the second half and 54-41 with 8:50 to play in the game.
The key to the first USI 13-point lead was the three-point barrage by sophomore forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana). Van Winkle hit four-straight three-pointers for 12 of USIís first 17 points of the second half.
The Knights kept coming back, cutting the USI lead to four, 62-58, with 2:32 to play in the game. USI senior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) stopped the Gannon run with a three-pointer with 50 seconds to play to push the lead back to seven points, 65-58.
Eaglesí junior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky) sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 24 seconds to play.
Senior forward/center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri) led the Eagles overall with 16 points, while Van Winkle finished the game with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information