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December 21, 2004

USI rebounds to defeat Wayne State

#19 Southern Indiana (6-3): 72
Wayne State (5-4): 60

Box Score

BIG RAPIDS, Mich.– The 19th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team rebounded in the Lions Club Holiday Classic to defeat Wayne State University, 72-60, Tuesday night in Big Rapids, Michigan. USI goes to 6-3 overall, while Wayne State falls to 5-4 in the 2004-05 campaign.

After struggling last night, the Screaming Eagles got back on track early in the first half against Wayne State. USI, using a balanced scoring attack, used a 10-3 run to take control of the contest. The Eagles would build the lead to as many as 12 points, 31-19, with 4:42 to play in the half on a jumper by senior center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri).

Holbrook finished the first half with a team-high seven points as the Eagles went into the locker room with a 36-27 lead at the intermission.

The second half saw USI burst out of the gate and boost the lead to a game-high 14 points, 45-31, with 15:47 to play in the game. The Warriors made several runs at the Eagles, cutting the lead to a low as seven points on five different occasions, but the USI defense held.

A big difference between Monday’s loss to tournament host Ferris State University and tonight’s win over Wayne State was on the boards. USI out rebounded Wayne State, 44-39, led by sophomore forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana) and freshman forward John Hoover (Evansville, Indiana) with six rebounds each.

A second key to the Eagles’ win was the control of the basketball. USI’s starting guards – senior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) and freshman guard Carl Richburg (Mason, Ohio) – had a combined 11 assists and only two turnovers, while the Eagles had only 15 turnovers as a team. Brunson’s six assists ties his career-best, while Richburg tied a season-high with five assists.

On the scoreboard, Van Winkle led the Eagles in scoring for the second evening in a row with 11 points, including two big three-point field goals to open the second half. Junior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Indiana) tied Van Winkle for the team lead in scoring with 11 points of his own, while junior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) dropped in 10 points.

The Eagles are idle until after Christmas when they start a four-game homestand at the Physical Activities Center by hosting Anderson College at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The homestand also includes GLVC games against Bellarmine University on January 6 and Northern Kentucky University on January 8.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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