February 21, 2006
USI men's basketball concludes home schedule this week
Five seniors to be honored Saturday
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team returns to the friendly surroundings of the Physical Activities Center for the final homestand of the 2005-06 regular season this week. The Screaming Eagles (23-5, 12-5 GLVC) will host the University of Missouri-Rolla Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and the University of Missouri-St. Louis Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
In the 10th regular season NABC Division II Top 25 poll, USI fell to 17th nationally.
USI will honor its five seniors – guards David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky), Danny Gibson (Madison, Indiana), and Shane Sims (Eldorado, Illinois) and forwards Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) and Jay McCulloh (Lansing, Michigan) – prior to the USI-UMSL game on Saturday.
The Eagles are trying to get back into the groove after dropping a pair of road games last week. USI lost the in the final minutes to Quincy University, 76-71, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 67-63.
USI also is looking to improve its seeding in the West Division for the upcoming GLVC Tournament. The Eagles, who are tied for third in the Division, are two games back of front-running SIUE and a game back of second place Drury University.
For the season, Thompson leads USI with 18.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, and 14 double-doubles this year. He is still chasing former All-American Chris Bowles' record of 18 double-doubles in a season.
In addition to Thompson's record race, junior guard Melvin Hall (Evansville, Indiana) and Gibson are chasing single-season records. Hall, who has 72 three-point field goals made, needs sevens three-point field goals to tie Robin Clark's USI single-season record of 79 set in 1991-92. Gibson, who has 56 steals through 28 games this season, is 10 shy of the school record 66 thefts set by Stan Gouard in 1994-95.
The Miners of UMR (2-23, 0-17 GLVC) make their first trip to the PAC as a member of the GLVC after hosting UMSL Tuesday evening. The Miners are in the midst of a 20-game losing streak that started with a 65-60 setback to USI in December.
The all-time series with UMR is tied 2-2.
The Rivermen of UMSL (13-12, 6-11 GLVC) have struggled since the end of January, losing six of their last seven games. UMSL lost the first half of a four-game road swing, losing to Rockhurst University, 89-81, and to Drury University, 69-58.
USI leads the all-time series with UMSL, 21-11, and has won 11 of the last 13 meetings. The Rivermen won the first match-up of the year with the Eagles, 87-83, in St. Louis, Missouri.
NABC Division II Top 25
1. Fort Hays State (8), 24-1
2. Delta State, 24-1
3. Saint Joseph's, 24-2
4. Virginia Union, 20-3
5. Montevallo, 23-3
6. Tarleton State, 21-4
7. Winona State, 21-4
8. Grand Valley State, 22-3
9. Barton, 21-2
10. Findlay, 23-3
11. SIU Edwardsville, 21-4
12. Western Washington, 19-4
13. Alderson-Broaddus, 20-4
14. Minnesota State-Mankato, 20-5
15. Armstrong Atlantic State, 20-5
16. Seattle Pacific, 20-4
17. Southern Indiana, 23-5
18. Southwest Baptist, 21-4
19. Shippensburg, 21-4
20. Northern State, 21-4
21. Truman State, 20-5
22. Alabama Huntsville, 21-5
23. Stonehill, 20-5
24. Ferris State, 16-10
25. Cal State Bakersfield, 18-5
Others receiving votes for the top 25:
Sonoma State, Columbus State, Clayton State, Bentley, Bryant, Mount Olive,
Rollins, West Liberty State, Presbyterian, Ashland
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information