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November 23, 2002

USI menís basketball survives a close one on opening night

#8 Southern Indiana (1-0): 86 Wilberforce (4-4): 79

Saturday night, the University of Southern Indiana menís basketball held the lead the only time that it mattersóthe end of the game.

The Screaming Eagles used a 14-4 run in the final 4:33 to get their third lead of the game and the victory over Wilberforce University, 86-79. USI goes to 1-0 on the season, while Wilberforce is 4-5.

The Eagle, who were down at the halftime 44-40, got their first lead of the game with 13:32 to play, 60-58. The lead was brief as the Bulldogs went retook the lead on a 4-0 run, 62-60.

USI took its second lead of the game on a three-point play by senior forward Diondíre Givens (Mt. Vernon, Indiana), but Wilberforce would not go away. The Bulldogs came back to tie the game at 68-68 and built a 72-68 lead with 7:40 to play.

The Eagles took the lead for good at 75-74 on a dunk by junior forward Clarence Chillers (Chicago, Illinois), sparking the run that clinched the game.

USI was led by sophomore guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana), who had 21 points in the season opener. Givens followed Brunson with 15 points, while junior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) added 14 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Chillers rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points.

Eagles return to action Tuesday, November 26, at the Physical Activities Center when Henderson State University comes to the Evansville for a 7:30 p.m. contest. HSU opened the season by winning the Disney Division II Classic in the seasonís opening weekend.

USI will tip-off the Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule after Thanksgiving in Owensboro, Kentucky, against Kentucky Wesleyan College Saturday, November 30. Game time is 7:30 p.m. next Saturday.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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