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December 30, 2003

USI holds on to win, 82-68

@#1 University of Southern Indiana (11-0): 82
Tusculum College (8-3): 68

Evansville, INThe NCAA Division II top-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team had to hold on in the second half to come away with an 82-68 victory over Tusculum College Tuesday evening at the Physical Activities Center. USI moves its record to 11-0 overall, while Tusculum falls to 8-3 in 2003-04.

The Screaming Eagles controlled the first half and took a 39-28 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Eagles never trailed in the first half, jumping out to a 17-7 lead with 13:28 to play in the half. USI lead by as many as 19 points in the first half, 38-19, before Tusculum went on a 9-1 run to finish the half.

The Eagles went on a 21-8 run of their own to begin the second half and extend the lead to 24 points. USI built the lead to as many as 26, 70-44 with 9:11 to play. The Pioneers made things interesting by cutting the USI lead to 10 points, 74-64 with 3:31 left in the contest. The Eagles stiffened defensively in the final minutes, allowing only four Pioneer points the rest of the way.

USI had three players score in double figures, led by senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri) with 25 points. He was followed by senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) and senior guard Joe Gordon (Palm Bay, Florida) with 10 points each. Oden and junior guard Aaron Austin (Chicago Heights, Illinois) had a team-best seven rebounds each while senior guard Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, California) dished out seven assists.

Tusculum was led by junior guard Mason Glick with 15 points.

After the New Yearís holiday, the USI menís basketball team will enter the final weekend of a seven-game homestand when the menís and womenís teams open the GLVC home schedule.

The Screaming Eagles start the GLVC home schedule by hosting Lewis University Friday, January 2, and conclude this weekendís action by welcoming the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to the PAC Sunday, January 4.

Tip-off times on Friday are 5:15 p.m. for the womenís game and 7:30 p.m. for the men, while Saturday start times are 1 p.m. for the womenís game and 3:15 p.m. for the menís game.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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