January 23, 2007
USI will try to maintain top spot on the road
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The 9th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team looks to maintain control of first place in the GLVC West Division when it travels north to play at Lewis University and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside this week. USI plays at Lewis in Romeoville, Illinois, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and at UW-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Screaming Eagles (18-2, 7-2 GLVC) moved into first and up one spot in the national poll with a sweep of last week's homestand. They defeated Bellarmine University, 88-80, and Northern Kentucky University, 83-71, while Quincy University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville dropped a pair of contests.
USI starts the week a half-game ahead of Quincy and one-and-a-half games ahead of SIUE. Both, along with Drury University, tied USI for the West Division crown last year.
Senior center Rashard Sullivan (Miami, Florida) led the Eagles last week with 15.5 points per game (ppg), while senior guard Melvin Hall (Evansville, Indiana) and senior forward Marty Wise (New Orleans, Louisiana) averaged 14.0 ppg each.
Wise averaged a double-double during the week with a team-high 11.5 rebounds per game (rpg). He posted 18 points and 11 rebounds against Bellarmine and 10 points and 12 rebounds against NKU for his fifth and sixth double-doubles of the year.
Overall, Hall leads the Eagles with 15.5 ppg and is only nine three-point field goals away from breaking the single-season record of 82 that he set last season. He is currently 18 long-range bombs ahead of last season's pace and at this rate will drop in 109 three-pointers by the end of the regular season.
The Flyers (10-7, 5-4 GLVC) of Lewis start this week's action tied for third in the GLVC East Division and on a two-game winning streak. Lewis, which has won five of its last seven after a four-game losing streak, won at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 74-63, and the University of Missouri-Rolla, 79-59, last week.
Lewis boasts a pair of GLVC top-10 scorers in sophomore guard Brandon Dagans, who is scoring 17.1 ppg, and junior forward Stephan Bolt, who is dropping in 16.1 ppg. Bolt also is recording a team-best 10.7 rpg that ranks second in the league.
USI leads the series, 31-21, and has won four straight games against Lewis. The Eagles also visit the Flyers on a four-game winning streak in their Neil Carey Arena (once against the Lewis and three against opponents in the 2004 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional).
The Rangers (13-7, 4-5 GLVC) of the UW-Parkside start the week in sixth in the East and on a two-game losing streak. They struggled last week, losing to Missouri-Rolla, 97-92, and Missouri-St. Louis, 77-74, The losses broke the Rangers four-winning streak and a stretch where they had won seven of eight.
UW-Parkside started the year similarly to USI by winning the Group Strength division of the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic in November.
A pair of 15-point scorers lead the way for the Rangers. Sophomore forward LaVontay Fenderson is on top of the scoring column with 15.5 ppg, while senior guard Travis Clark is second with 15.1 ppg.
The Eagles lead the all-time series, 21-5, and have won the last eight meetings with the Rangers. USI also has won their last eight trips to UW-Parkside's DeSimone Gymnasium.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Jan. 30, 2007)
1. Winona State, Minn. (8), 17-0
2. Clayton State, Ga., 17-0
3. Central Missouri, 16-0
4. Bentley, Mass., 18-0
5. Minnesota State, 18-1
6. Findlay, Ohio, 16-1
7. Emporia State, Kan., 16-0
8. Grand Valley State, Mich., 15-2
9. Southern Indiana, 18-2
10. Metropolitan State, Colo., 15-2
11. Millersville, Pa., 16-1
12. Virginia Union, 10-1
13. Southeastern Oklahoma State, 14-2
14. Christian Brothers, Tenn., 15-3
15. Cal Poly Pomona, 11-3