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February 21, 2004

13th-ranked USI falls to #20 Lewis on the road

#13 University of Southern Indiana (20-5, 13-5 GLVC): 59
@ #20 Lewis University (21-4, 15-3 GLVC): 65

Romeoville, IL– The #13-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team could not find the handle to the basketball as it fell to #20 Lewis University, 65-59, Saturday afternoon in Romeoville, Illinois. USI falls to 20-5 overall and 13-5 in the GLVC, while Lewis goes to 21-4 overall, 15-3 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles were plagued by 20 turnovers in the game and posted their lowest point total for a game since losing on the road to the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2001-02. In the overall numbers, USI shot only 36.8 percent from the field (21-57) and 28.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc (6-21).

The Eagles committed 15 turnovers in the first half and trailed 32-28 at the intermission. USI was on top during the first 15 minutes, leading by as many as six points, 16-10. The Flyers, down 22-17, used a 14-3 run in the final five minutes of the first stanza.

The second half started well for the Eagles as they passed the Flyers, building a 36-32 lead. Lewis took back the momentum and tied the game at 38-38 and built a 42-39 lead before USI junior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, IN) hit a pair of three-point field goals to give the Eagles a 45-42 lead. USI extended the lead to five, 47-42, on a pair of free throws by senior forward Clarence Chillers (Chicago, Illinois).

The Flyers fought back to tie the game at 48-48 with just under seven minutes to play and after a dunk a by USI senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri) evened the score again at 50-50. Lewis senior forward Monta McGhee gave the Flyers the lead for good, 52-50, on a pair of free throws with 4:41 to play in the game.

The Eagles stayed close, but were never able to get with two points again.

For the game USI was led by junior center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri), who had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The double-double was the third of the season for Holbrook.

The loss puts USI two-games behind the GLVC-leading Flyers and just a game ahead of Kentucky Wesleyan College (12-6 in the GLVC) and a game-and-a-half ahead of the University of Indianapolis (11-6 in the GLVC), who hosts Northern Kentucky University this evening. Even bigger, the Eagles will have to wait to see if they fall or remain second in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region.

The Eagles 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. Game time Thursday is 7:30 p.m., while the tip-off next Saturday is 3:15 p.m.

The USI-Indianapolis match-up on February 28 is Senior Day for the Eagles.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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