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February 05, 2004

#17 USI earns season split with NKU

@#17 Southern Indiana (17-4, 10-4 GLVC): 74
Northern Kentucky (14-9, 7-6 GLVC): 66

Evansville, INóThe #17-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team picked up a little revenge by earning a season split with Northern Kentucky University, 74-66, Thursday night at the Physical Activities Center. USI raises its record 17-4 overall and 10-4 in the GLVC, while NKU falls to 14-9 overall, 7-6 GLVC.

The 10 victories in the GLVC marks the 12th straight season that USI has won 10-plus games in the conference regular season.

The Screaming Eagles burst out of the gate against NKU Thursday evening, beginning the game with a 5-0 run and built its biggest lead of the first half, 16-7, with 14:32 to play in the opening stanza. The Norse fought back with a 15-7 run and took their first lead of the game, 24-23, with 4:39 before halftime. USI tied the game 29-29, but NKU took a 30-29 lead into the locker room at intermission.

After swapping leads in the first five minutes of the second half, USI took the lead for good, 41-38 with 14:43 to play. The Eagles increased their lead to nine points on two different occasions before NKU made one final run. The Norse pulled to within one, 61-60, with 3:12 to play.

Senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) and junior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) responded with a combined nine points to rebuild the lead to six points at 70-64. The Eagles closed out the game by hitting four of six free throws for the 74-66 final.

Brunson was the only USI player to score in double figures with 14 points. Harris and senior forward Clarence Chillers (Glendale Heights, Illinois) led the Eagles with eight boards each, while senior guard Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, California) had a team-high five assists.

The Eagles will continue Saturday, February 7, with game two of a three-game homestand when Bellarmine University comes to the PAC for Homecoming 2004. The GLVC doubleheader begins with the womenís game at 5:15 p.m., followed by the menís game at 7:30 p.m.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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