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January 28, 2003

USI begins four-game homestand Thursday

Game Notes

The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team will begin a four-game homestand Thursday, January 30, when Southern Illinois University Edwardsville visits the Physical Activities Center for a 7:30 p.m. contest.

The Screaming Eagles have won six in a row and eight of their last nine after sweeping a GLVC road trip last week. The USI victories over Saint Joseph's College (115-107 in overtime) and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (80-72) was the first GLVC road sweep since 2000-01 for the Eagles.

USI sophomore forward Dennis Coutee (Jeffersonville, Indiana) led the Screaming Eagles last week with 17.0 ppg. He was followed in the scoring column by junior forward/center Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) with 15.5 ppg senior forward Diond're Givens (Evansville, Indiana), 12.0 ppg and senior guard David Ragland (Evansville, Indiana), 11.0 ppg. Givens and junior forward Clarence Chillers (Chicago, Illinois) led the Eagles on the boards with 7.0 rpg each.

The Eagles also will try to extend its 22-game home winning streak during the home-stand. USI is second, nationally, to Humboldt State University, which has won 27 straight on its home court.

For the season, Givens leads the team with 15.9 ppg and has sunk his last 21 free throws, dating back to December 15. Givens is followed by sophomore guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) with 14.0 ppg and Harris at 12.2 ppg.

Harris leads the team with 7.1 rpg, while Givens is close behind with 5.5 rpg.

Thursday evening will be the return to Evansville of SIUE Head Coach Marty Simmons. His Cougars are 7-10 overall, 3-7 in the GLVC, and in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

Last week the Cougars lost on the road to Lincoln University, 73-59, and at home to Quincy University, 72-65. SIUE was led in the road loss by junior guard Ron Jones' 19 points. Freshman forward Justin Ward scored 25 points to lead the Cougars in their home loss to Quincy.

For the season, SIUE is led by Jones with 15.4 ppg. Senior forward Ron Heflin is second with 12.2 ppg, while Ward rounds out the double-figure scorers with 11.0 ppg.

The Eagles lead the series with SIUE, 37-15, after winning the first meeting of the year, 90-77, in Edwardsville, Illinois. USI also has won the last 10 at the PAC with SIUE.

The USI basketball week will be capped off with Homecoming Saturday, February 1, when Quincy University comes to the PAC. Game time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.

The Hawks enter the week with a 9-9 overall record, 3-8 GLVC, after breaking a five-game losing streak with the road victory over SIUE. Quincy, which was 1-1 in the GLVC last week, opened last week with a road loss at Lewis University, 77-62. Junior center Phil Gettinger led the Hawks last week with 16.5 ppg.

Quincy will play the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday evening before coming to PAC.

Sophomore forward Cory Cummens leads the Hawk scorers with 13.2 ppg, while Gettinger is second with 12.2 ppg. Quincy double-digit scorers are rounded out by senior center Brian McNeil's 13.0 ppg.

Saturday's GLVC game will be the first meeting of the season between USI and Quincy. The Eagles lead the series, 12-4, and have won the last seven. USI also has won the last eight at the PAC.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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