December 20, 2003
USI is 10-0
#16 Indianapolis (9-0): 101
North Alabama (5-7): 80 (Box)
#1 Southern Indiana (10-0): 89
Ferris State (3-7): 62 (Box)
Sprint Player of the Game (5:15 p.m.):
Rodney Rollins, Indianapolis
Sprint Player of the Game (7:30 p.m.)
John Oden, Southern Indiana
#1-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team overcame 10-point first half deficit and held Ferris State University to 22.2 percent from the field in the second half to win 89-62 in the Sprint Challenge at the Physical Activities Center Saturday evening. USI remains perfect going into the Christmas break at 10-0, while FSU falls to 3-7.
The Screaming Eagles are 10-0 for only the third time in the programs history.
The first half saw Ferris State control the game as it stymied the Screaming Eagles from long range, holding them to 0-11 from beyond the three-point arc. The Bulldogs, led on the 21-point first half performance of forward Willie Thomas, led the Eagles by as many as 10 points, 38-28, and went into the intermission with a 43-36 margin.
USI found the range in the second half and used a 9-0 run to begin the half to take the lead 45-43. After the Bulldogs tied the score at 52-52 with 15:23 to play, the Eagles never looked back and built the lead to as many as 30 points, 89-59, with 1:55 left in the game.
USI put the 0-11 first half three-point shooting behind them, hitting six of nine in the second half, and stepped it up defensively by holding FSU to just 19 points in the second stanza. The Eagles also held FSU's Thomas to only eight points in the second half.
Senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri) led the Eagles with 20 points and was named the Sprint Player of the Game for the second straight contest. Senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) followed Oden with 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
USI freshman forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana) and senior guard Joe Gordon (Palm Bay, Flordia) joined Oden and Harris in double figure scoring with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.
The Eagles will be over the Christmas holiday, but resumes the 2003-04 campaign with a non-conference contest with Tusculum College at the PAC Tuesday, December 30. Game time is 7:30 p.m. USI resumes GLVC action on Saturday, January 2, when Lewis University comes to Evansville for a league doubleheader.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information