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January 31, 2004

USI falls to hot SJC team

#12 University of Southern Indiana (16-4, 9-4 GLVC): 80
@ Saint Joseph’s College (10-10, 6-7 GLVC): 83

Rensselaer, IN– The #12-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team had its four-game winning streak stopped Saturday afternoon by Saint Joseph’s College, 83-80, in Rensselaer, Indiana. USI falls to 16-4 overall and 9-4 in the GLVC, while SJC goes to 10-10 overall, 6-7 GLVC.

In it last three games, SJC has knocked off USI, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and the University of Indianapolis.

The Pumas pounced on the Screaming Eagles early, building an 11-0 lead before USI could get on the board. After SJC increased the lead to 14-2, the Eagles got on track and went on an 18-4 run on the strength of three three-point field goals by freshman forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana) to the lead 19-18 with 9:30 to play in the half.

The teams traded buckets and runs in the final minutes of the first half and went into the locker room tied 36-36.

The second half began with USI building a four point lead at 42-38 before SJC went on an 11-2 run and extended its lead to 12 points at 67-55. The Eagles fought their way back into the game to get to within four points at 78-74 with just over a minute to play.

Down 82-80, USI forced a turnover with 12 seconds to play, but turned the ball back of to the Pumas on the inbound pass. SJC senior forward Corey Seegers, who led all scorers with 27 points, sealed the victory at 83-80 by hitting one of two from the charity strip with nine seconds to play.

Van Winkle missed an attempt to tie the game with two seconds to play, but bounced the ball off the back of the rim.

Senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri) and Van Winkle led the Eagles with 15 points each. They were followed in double figure scoring by senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) and senior guard Joe Gordon (Palm Bay, Florida) with 13 points and 11 points, respectively. Harris also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, while Oden snatched 11 off the glass.

The Eagles return to the friendly confines of the Physical Activities Center Thursday, February 5, when they host Northern Kentucky University for a GLVC doubleheader. The USI-NKU game begins a three-game homestand for the Eagles.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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