February 01, 2005
USI looks to get even on the road
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The 19th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team will play six of its final eight games on the road in February and wants to start the month by bringing its road record back to the .500 mark. USI (15-4 overall, 10-2 GLVC) is 3-4 away from the Physical Activities Center, just 2-4 on the opponents home court in 2004-05.
The Screaming Eagles, who moved up five spots in the NABC/Division II Top 25 this week to 19th, are riding a five-game winning streak onto the road this week. The squad, which was 8-1 in January and has won 10 of the last 11, will play Northern Kentucky University Thursday in Highland Heights, Kentucky, and the University of Indianapolis Saturday in Indianapolis. Game time at NKU is 6:45 p.m. (CST), while tip-off at Indianapolis is 2 p.m. (CST).
USI has been led in the last 11 contests by senior forward/center Randy Holbrook (St. Louis, Missouri). Holbrook averaged 17.5 ppg during the last month-and-a-half, earning GLVC Player of the Week honors twice. He also tops the USI scoring column for the season with 16.1 ppg.
Eagles’ freshman guard Carl Richburg (Mason, Ohio) also has become a driving force for the Eagles at the point. Richburg, who averaged 12.8 ppg and 5.8 assists during the last 11 contests, leads the USI team 4.6 assists per game.
On the boards, junior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) has helped the Eagles to a 38.5-31.5 lead over the opposition in rebounding. Thompson, who ranks second on the team with 12.6 ppg, is averaging a team-best 9.5 rpg and has had six double-doubles this season.
The Norse of Northern Kentucky (9-10, 5-8 GLVC) begin the week on a two-game losing streak. NKU dropped a pair of close games on the road last weekend, losing to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 69-66, and to Quincy University, 75-74.
NKU is led by senior guard Mike Kelsey, who is averaging 14.5 ppg, and junior forward Derek Smith, who is posting 11.7 ppg. Smith also leads the team on the boards with 5.7 rpg.
USI won the 2004-05 series opener in overtime at the PAC, 87-82, and leads the all-time series 37-16. Holbrook had a double-double, recording a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Thompson also had a double-double with 14 points and game-high 14 rebounds. NKU freshman forward Harrison Marton led the Norse with 21 points.
The Greyhounds of Indianapolis (14-5, 9-3 GLVC) have won their last two games, including a road-victory over SIUE, 87-77, last Saturday. Indianapolis, who is 9-1 at home this year, will be looking to pull even with the Eagles this week in the conference standings, starting the week just one game behind, and will host the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday.
Indianapolis’ senior guard David Logan leads the Greyhounds with a conference-best 28.3 ppg and has been named GLVC Player of the Week for the fifth time this year. He earned his latest award after scoring 37 points in the win over SIUE.
The Eagles also took round one from the Greyhounds back in December with an 87-66 victory and held Logan to three points in the game. USI senior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) posted a team-high 20 points in the win, while Indianapolis senior forward Lawrence Barnes had a game-high 25 points for the Greyhounds.
USI also leads the all-time series 38-17 and has won nine of the last 11 against the Greyhounds.
Following this road trip, USI will host its final regular season homestand of 2004-05 by hosting the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on February 10 and Lewis University on February 12. The game with Lewis is Senior Day and Homecoming for USI.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (February 1, 2005)
1. Minnesota State, Mankato (2) 19-2
2. Bentley, Mass. (5) 21-2
3. Findlay, Ohio (1) 17-2
4. West Georgia 17-2