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February 11, 2004

Eagles hope to continue trend of moving up lists
USI rises to 16th nationally

The University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team has been moving up several lists both as a team and individually over the last week and wants that trend to continue. Standing in the way of those trends is the University of Missouri-St. Louis (9-12, 5-9 GLVC) Saturday, February 14, at the Physical Activities Center.

The game with UMSL, which tips-off at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, is USIís only menís basketball game this week. USI will be attempting to sweep UMSL after defeating the Rivermen, 95-80, back in December. USI also leads the all-time series with UMSL, 17-10, and has won six of the last seven meetings.

As a team, the Screaming Eagles (18-4, 11-4 GLVC) rose to 16th in the latest NABC/Division II Bulletin Top 25 poll after moving into sole possession of second place in the GLVC on Saturday. GLVC front-running Lewis University is five spots ahead of USI in the national poll at 11th.

USI also rose to the number three spot in the Great Lakes Region after last weekís number three, the University of Indianapolis, dropped a pair of conference games over the weekend and fell out of the national poll.

Individually, Head Coach Rick Herdes, senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois), and junior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) moved up in the USI all-time record book.

Herdes moved into third place all-time at USI with his 65th career win on Saturday. The win propelled Herdes past Lionel Sinn (64-50) and puts him behind Wayne Boultinghouse (111-79) and Bruce Pearl (205-42).

Harris, who moved passed former teammate Diondíre Givens into sixth-place all-time with his 1,263rd career point on Saturday, needs just six points to pass Ernie Brothers (1,268 points: 1973-76) and four rebounds to pass DeJuan Rowser (691 rebounds 1974-77) and reach the USI top five in each category. He also needs just 16 free throws to tie the USI career record for free throws made, currently held by former All-American Chris Bowles (333, 1990-94).

As he nears the end of his collegiate career, Harris is on track to claim the University career mark for field goal percentage. He has hit 63.2 percent of his field goals (470-743), which is 16 points better than the all-time record held by former All-American Ilo Mutombo (.616, 537-860 1987-91)

Two weeks ago, Brunson entered the top 20 all-time in scoring and, in the win over Northern Kentucky University last week, moved to 16th all-time with 1,020 career points. The junior guard also is taking aim at the USI all-time record for three-point field goals made, needing just 15 three-pointers to become the Eaglesí all-time leader.

Following Saturdayís match-up with UMSL, the Eagles will have four games remaining in the 2003-04 regular season. USI will go on the road next week for games at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (February 19) and Lewis University (February 21). The squad will finish the season at the PAC by hosting Saint Josephís College (February 26) and the University of Indianapolis (February 28).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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