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March 05, 2004

USI outlasts NKU in GLVC first round

The 13th-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team outlasted the Northern Kentucky University, 83-74, to win its first round contest in the GLVC Tournament Friday evening. USI, the second seed, raises its record to 23-5 overall, while NKU, the seventh seed falls to 16-15.

USI started the game by shooting a blistering 88.9 percent (8-9) from the field in the first five minutes and built a 21-10 lead with 14:53 left in the first half. From that point, the Norse fought back.

NKU went on a 10-1 run to get back into the game and forced at tie at intermission, 41-41. The Screaming Eagles finished the first half shooting 50 percent (14-28) from the field.

The Eagles jumped out of the gate once again in the second half, building a nine point lead, 58-49. And, once again the Norse fought back to tie the game, evening the score, 67-67, with 6:49 to play.

In the final minutes there four lead changes and a tie before USI took the lead for good with 2:26 to play on a bucket by senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois). Harris led the Eagles with his fifth double-double of the year, 18 points and 15 rebounds.

The 15-rebound performance ties a career-best for Harris.

The Eagles iced the game down the stretch as Harris and senior guard Avery Queen (Moreno Valley, California), who had 11 points, combined for four free throws in the final minute for the 83-74 margin of victory.

Harris, who tied a career-high with 15 rebounds, and Queen were joined in double figure scoring by senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri), who had is third straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He is tops on the team in double-doubles with six.

The Eagles will try for a third straight victory over Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2003-04 Saturday, March 6, during the semifinals of the GLVC Tournament. Game time is 8:30 p.m. (CT).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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