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February 03, 2005

Eagles pull away from Norse,
Push winning streak to six

USI 80, Northern Kentucky 67

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.óThe No. 19-ranked University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team pulled away from Northern Kentucky University Thursday night, posting an 80-67 victory over the Norse in Regents Hall. The win is the sixth straight for the Screaming Eagles, who are in a tie with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville atop the GLVC standings.

USI (16-4, 11-2 GLVC) fought to a 37-32 lead at the break, but a technical foul charged to NKU Head Coach Dave Bezold at the end of the first half gave the Screaming Eagles a chance to extend their lead to seven before the second half got under way.

The technical foul was the start of a free throw shooting spree that saw the Eagles visit the charity stripe 25 times in the second half. The Eagles converted on 21 of those attempts as they pushed their lead to as many as 18 points in the second period.

Freshman guard Carl Richburg (Mason, Ohio) led the Eagles with 20 points and was 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Richburg was 8-of-8 from the line in the final 4:25 of the game to help the Eagles close the door on any NKU comeback attempts.

USI had five players in double figures Thursday night, with senior forward/center Reque Newsome (St. Petersburg, Florida), senior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana), and junior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) each chipping in 12 points.

Thompson finished the game with a season-high tying 15 rebounds, while junior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky) added 10 points and a game-high four assists.

USI, which shot 51.1 percent from the floor, led for most of the first half, but could not distance itself from the Norse. Senior guard Mike Kelsey, who finished the contest with a game-high 28 points, kept the Norse in the game during the opening period as he dumped in 17 first-half points and connected on five three-pointers.

Head Coach Rick Herdes made some adjustments at halftime that limited Kelsey to just one three-pointer in six attempts in the second half. The change helped the Eagles separate themselves from the Norse down the stretch and hand NKU its second straight loss.

NKU falls to 9-11 overall, 5-9 in the GLVC, with the setback.

The Eagles will finish their two-game road swing Saturday at 2 p.m. (CST) with a trip to the University of Indianapolis. The Greyhounds (15-5, 10-3 GLVC) defeated the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 96-74, Thursday night at Nicoson Hall in Indianapolis.

Dan McDonnell,
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