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February 19, 2004

13th-ranked USI men’s basketball wins a battle on the road

#13 University of Southern Indiana (20-4, 13-4 GLVC): 75
@ Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville (13-11, 9-9 GLVC): 70

Edwardsville, IL– The #13-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team won the battle of the GLVC’s top ranked offense and defense in a 75-70 victory over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Thursday night. USI goes to 20-4 overall and 14-4 in the GLVC, while SIUE falls to 13-11 overall, 9-9 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles entered the contest averaging a GLVC-best 86.7 ppg, while the Cougars were allowing a league-low 64.7 ppg.

In the first half, the Eagles needed an 11-0 run late in the half to post a slim three point lead at halftime, 29-26. The Cougars, who held USI to 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, had two four point leads, 14-10 and 22-18, before USI was able to build its biggest lead of the half, 29-22.

The two squads continued to battle in the second half that saw five ties and six lead changes. USI took the lead for good with just under eight minutes to play at 52-51 on a bucket by freshman forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana). On the hot hand of senior guard Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, California), the Eagles extended their to a game-best 11 points, 70-59, on a 20-8 run.

Queen, who missed six straight shots in the first half, had 11of his 15 points in the second half and eight during the run.

The Cougars battled back in the final two minutes, scoring eight unanswered to get to within three points, 70-67, with 36 seconds to play. Queen broke the SIUE string with a free throw, while senior guard Mike Arnold (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Van Winkle sealed the game with a pair of free throws each in the final 15 seconds.

Arnold joined Queen in dropping in 15 points, scoring 12 of his points in the second stanza. Van Winkle followed with 12 points, 10 in the second stanza, and senior guard Joe Gordon (Palm Bay, Florida) had 11 points. Gordon led the way for the Eagles in the first half with nine points.

The USI victory marks the 12th straight season that the Eagles have won at least 20 games.

The Eagles travel to Lewis University Saturday, February 21, for their final regular season road game of 2003-04. Game time is 3:15 p.m. USI will conclude the 2003-04 regular season with a pair of home games at the Physical Activities Center when it hosts Saint Joseph’s College Thursday, February 26, and the University of Indianapolis Saturday, February 28.The USI-Indianapolis game is Senior Day for the Eagles.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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