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December 15, 2002

Short-handed Eagles fall to Washburn in desert

#15 Washburn University (7-1): 92
#8 University of Southern Indiana (5-3): 84

The eighth-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team fell to 15th-ranked Washburn University, 92-84, Sunday evening at the High Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The loss drops the Screaming Eagles to 5-3 overall while the Ichabods improve to 7-1 on the season.

Despite playing without junior forward Clarence Chillers (Chicago, Illinois), the Eagles were able to jump out to an 8-0 lead early in the contest. However, the Ichabods battled back to come within a point of USI midway through the first period.

Senior forward Diond’re Givens (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) scored 11 points in the first stanza and helped USI build a 34-25 lead later in the half. However, Washburn fought back to take a 37-36 lead late in the half. USI score five of the last six points to go into the locker room with a 41-38 halftime advantage.

Up by one with 13:42 to go in the contest, USI’s Ronald Roundtree (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was tagged with a foul and two technical fouls that allowed Washburn to convert a three-point play and four straight free throws. The turn-of-events allowed the Ichobods to turn their deficit into a six-point lead.

USI also had a technical assessed to its bench in the first half and another late in the game. Washburn capitalized on USI’s mistakes as it connected on 19-of-22 from the charity stripe.

Without Chillers and Roundtree in the USI lineup, Washburn was able to pound the Eagles on the glass, gaining a 39-28 advantage on the boards. Nineteen of the 39 rebounds came at the offensive end for the Ichabods.

“They (Washburn) are a very good basketball team,” head coach Rick Herdes said. “What really hurt us was not having Clarence in our lineup. He is a tough guy that plays both ends of the floor.”

Despite the miscues and the disadvantage underneath, the Eagles found themselves trailing by just a point late in the game. However, Washburn converted on five free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

“We played hard the entire game,” Herdes said, “but some of the guys have got to be mentally tough all of the time for us to be successful.”

For the game, USI was led by Givens and senior guard David Ragland (Evansville, Indiana). Givens finished with 19 points and six rebounds while Ragland racked up a game-high 20 points. Junior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) tapped in with a season-best 16 points and eight rebounds while sophomore guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) added 13 points and three assists.

The Eagles will return home this Wednesday, December 18, as they host Oakland City University. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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