February 14, 2006
Screaming Eagles set for final road trip
USI looking to repay SIUE on Saturday
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team begins its final road trip of the 2005-06 regular season campaign when it travels to Quincy University on Thursday and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
USI and SIUE are tied for 10th nationally in the latest NABC Division II Top 25 poll. Saint Joseph's College is the top ranked team from the Great Lakes Region at number five, while Grand Valley State University is 14th and the University of Findlay is 15th.
The Screaming Eagles (23-3, 12-3 GLVC) are fighting for position in the GLVC Tournament after splitting a two-game homestand last week. The Eagles started the week by losing to Drury University, 83-82, on a last second shot, but bounced back to defeat Rockhurst University, 74-59.
The split put USI a game behind SIUE in the West Division and a game ahead of third-place Drury University. USI, along with SIUE and Drury from the West as well as Saint Joseph's from the East Division, has clinched spots in the GLVC Tournaments. The eight-team GLVC Tournament includes the top three teams from each division, plus two wild cards.
Senior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) continues to lead the Eagles in 2005-06. The All-America and GLVC Player of the Year candidate is averaging a team-best and GLVC-best 19.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg. Thompson also has posted 14 double-doubles, four short of the single season record of 18 set by former USI All-American Chris Bowles in 1991-92.
Thompson also has posted five-straight double-doubles, three short of Bowles' record eight straight to open the 1991-92 season.
As a team, USI ranks first in the GLVC and the NCAA in scoring margin (+19.4), field goal percentage (54.7 percent 825-1507), and rebound margin (+12.1).
The Hawks of Quincy (15-8, 10-5 GLVC), which host SIUE tonight, begin the week in search of a victory to clinch a berth in the GLVC Tournament. Quincy has won three in a row after sweeping the University of Missouri-Rolla and the University of Missouri-St. Louis on the road last week.
Hawks' junior guard Ryan Walker leads the way and ranks seventh in the GLVC with 15.1 ppg, while senior forward Jordan Roth is second on the team and 12th in the league with 13.8 ppg. Roth also is sixth in the GLVC with 7.3 rpg.
USI leads the all-time series with Quincy, 19-4, and has won the last 12 meetings since 2000. The Eagles defeated the Hawks, 82-70, at the Physical Activities Center in January.
The Cougars of SIUE (20-3, 13-2 GLVC) are the hottest team in the GLVC, winning their last 16 games. SIUE, who will be idle Thursday, moved into sole possession of first in the West after defeating UMR and UMSL on the road last week.
The Cougars are the GLVC's number one and the NCAA's eighth ranked defensive team, allowing just 59.1 points per game and 70-or-more points only four times this year. USI was the only team this season to score more than 75 points against SIUE.
Although SIUE stopped USI's 32-game home winning streak in January, 78-77, the Eagles lead the all-time series, 41-17, and have won 10 of the last 12 meetings.
NABC Division II Top 25
1. Fort Hays State (8), 22-1
2. Western Washington, 19-2
3. Barton, 20-1
4. Delta State, 22-1
5. Saint Joseph's, 22-2
6. Virginia Union, 18-3
7. Southwest Baptist, 21-2
8. Seattle Pacific, 19-3
9. Montevallo, 21-3
10. SIU Edwardsville, 20-3
Southern Indiana, 23-3
12. Tarleton State, 20-4
13. Winona State, 19-4
14. Grand Valley State, 20-3
15. Findlay, 21-3
16. Northern State, 20-3
17. Minnesota State-Mankato, 19-5
18. Armstrong Atlantic State, 18-5
19. Alderson-Broaddus, 18-4
20. Bentley, 18-6
21. Shippensburg, 19-4