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March 14, 2004

USI to play in regional championship

Southern Indiana (25-6): 75
Findlay (25-7): 67

Romeoville, IL Ė The University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team will play for the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Championship for the second consecutive season and for the eighth time in 11 years after defeating the University of Findlay, 75-67, Sunday evening in Romeoville, Illinois. USI is now 25-6 overall in 2003-04.

The Oilers jumped out to an early 10-6 lead over the Screaming Eagles before USI made a 13-4 run to take the lead for good, 16-14, with 12:59 to play in the first half. Findlay stayed close to USI throughout the rest of the half with USI going in the locker room with a 33-30 lead at the intermission.

In the second half, USI junior center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri) scored 15 of his 17 points to set the tone. The Eagles shot 57.1 percent from the field (12-21) and were a perfect 15-15 from the charity strip. For the game USI was a perfect 17-17 from the line.

Defensively in the second half, USI held the Oilers to 40.6 percent from the field (13-32) and allowed them to get within one point twice. The last time was at 46-45 with 9:22 to play.

For the game, the Eagles were led by junior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) with 23 points. Brunson led the Eagles in the first half, hitting six-of-seven from the field and scored 13 points in the first stanza.

Brunson and Holbrook were joined in double figures by senior guard Joe Gordon (Palm Bay, Florida), who followed his 32 point effort against Kentucky Wesleyan College on Saturday with a 15 point performance on Sunday.

Eagles' senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) tied a USI career record for free throws made with a two-for-two performance at the line against Findlay. Harris is tied with former USI All-American Chris Bowles (1990-94) with 333 career free throws.

USI will play the winner of the Michigan Tech University-Wayne State University game Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in Romeoville.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information
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