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March 06, 2003


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana junior forward Clarence Chillers and junior center Billy Harris combined for 36 points and 16 rebounds Thursday night as the University of Southern Indiana defeated Saint Joseph’s College, 91-85, in the first round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

Chillers made all nine of his attempts from the field and added two steals as second-seeded Southern Indiana improved to 23-5. The Screaming Eagles, ranked 19th nationally in the NCAA Division II poll, shot 54.3 percent from the field and held off a late Saint Joseph’s rally to advance to the GLVC semifinals for the sixth straight year.

Southern Indiana built a 46-32 halftime lead as Harris scored 11 points. The Screaming Eagles also held Saint Joseph’s to 36.1 percent shooting from the field before halftime.

Saint Joseph’s rallied in the second half behind the shooting of Hodges Smith (21 points) and Corey Seegers (23 points) and Jamie Holden (18 points). The Pumas cut the deficit to 63-62 on a jumper by Holden with 10:13 remaining in the game. A 3-pointer by David Ragland and two inside baskets by Chillers, though, increased Southern Indiana’s advantage to 70-64 with 8:23 on the clock.

A 3-pointer by Smith with 26 seconds left brought Saint Joseph’s to within 88-85, but Cris Brunson sealed the victory for Southern Indiana by making a pair of free throws. It marked the third time this season that the Screaming Eagles had defeated Saint Joseph’s.

Southern Indiana will meet third-seeded Northern Kentucky University at 7 p.m. Friday in the GLVC semifinals. The Screaming Eagles swept the regular-season series with the Norse and have beaten NKU three of the past four meetings.

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