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November 20, 2002

USI menís basketball opens regular season on Saturday

After an explosive 2-0 preseason scheduled, the University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team will open the 2002-03 regular season at the Physical Activities Center Saturday, November 23, against Wilberforce University. Game time on Saturday is 7:30 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles, ranked eighth nationally, posted 233 points during the 2-0 exhibition season. USI defeated the Tornatta Stars 116-82 before posting a 117-72 blow-out of the Akron Wingfoots.

Individually, the Eagles had six players score in double figures including two that averaged a double-double. USIís leading scorers were sophomore guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana), junior center Ronald Roundtree (Philadelphia, PA), and senior forwad Diondíre Givens (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) with an average of 18 points each.

Junior forwards Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) and Clarence Chillers (Chicago, Illinois) were double trouble for the exhibition opponents under the boards. Harris averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Chillers posted 12.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in the two contests.

Sophomore forward Dennis Coutee (Jeffersonville, Indiana) rounded out the double figure scorers with 17.0 points per game.

Wilberforce enters Saturdayís game with a substantial lead in games played. The Bulldogs are 4-4 after their 81-72 loss to Ohio Dominican University on Tuesday.

Wilberforce junior forward Larry Brown leads the way for the Bulldogs with 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. He is followed in the scoring by senior center Donald Oatis with 15.0 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds per contest.

The Eagles won the only meeting between the two schools last season, 104-60, at the PAC. USI had four players score in double figures last year, led by center Ronnie Griffin with 20 points. Brunson was second on the team with 12 points, while Harris and senior guard David Ragland (Evansville, Indiana) dropped in 10 points each.

The Bulldogs were led in the loss by junior forward Helie White with 17 points and junior guard Jason Elliott with 12 points. White is averaging 8.3 ppg this season, while Elliott has averaged 6.8 points in four games this year.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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