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February 05, 2003

Countdown to USI-KWC begins with Thursday's non-conference game

Game Notes

The countdown to the University of Southern Indiana and Kentucky Wesleyan College showdown will begin with USI's non-conference match-up with the University of Illinois-Springfield Thursday, February 6, at the Physical Activities Center. USI and UIS will tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles, 15-4 overall and 10-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, are riding an eight-game winning streak after sweeping a pair of conference games last week. The Eagles were led last week by junior forward/center Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) with 19.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg in the victories over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Quincy University.

Harris recorded his 19.0 ppg by hitting 73.7 percent from the field (14-19) and 76.9 percent from the line (10-13).

For the season, Harris is third on the team in scoring with 12.9 ppg while recording a team-best 7.3 rpg. Harris trails senior forward Diond're Givens (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) with a team-high 15.1 ppg and sophomore guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) at 13.7 ppg.

In addition to coming into the week with an eight-game winning streak, the Eagles will be hoping to extend their home winning streak. USI's 24-game streak ranks second in the NCAA Division II, behind Humboldt State University (27 straight).

The Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars enter this week's action with a 9-16 overall record and a three-game winning streak. The Prairie Stars won their last game, 87-67, over the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Junior guard Lincoln James will lead the way for UIS into the PAC, averaging 22.0 ppg. He is followed by junior guard Zach May with 17.8 ppg and junior guard/forward Randy Thomas with 14.7 ppg.

Thursday's game will be the first meeting between USI and UIS.

The Eagles will have to get ready quickly on Friday and prepare for the Panthers of KWC Saturday, February 8. Game time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers visit the PAC with a 17-2 overall record, 10-2 GLVC, and are ranked fifth in the NABC/Division II Bulletin Top 25.

Like USI, KWC has been on a winning streak since losing on the road to Lewis University back in January. The Panthers have won their last seven, including last week's victories over Lewis and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Leading the way for the Panthers is senior guard Marlon Palmer, who is scoring 17.9 ppg. Senior guard Huggy Dye is second with 13.2 ppg, while junior forward Damon Garris is posting 12.3 ppg.

KWC leads the series with USI, 40-25, after defeating the Eagles earlier this season at the Sportscenter, 73-61. The Panthers had four players score in double figures, led by Palmer with 21 points and seven assists. The Eagles were led Givens with 19 points.

Since 1992-93, both teams have entered the game ranked in the national poll 18 times. KWC leads that portion of the series, 13-5. Of the last 30 games between the two institutions, both teams have been ranked in the top ten 16 times and in the top five eight times at game time.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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