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January 11, 2007

#5 USI holds off SIUE to win on the road
Van Winkle reaches two milestones

#5 Southern Indiana (16-1, 5-1 GLVC): 63
SIU Edwardsville (9-5, 5-2 GLVC): 54

Box Score

Geoff Van Winkle

EDWARDSVILLE, IL.In a battle of the GLVC's top offense and defense, the 5th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team fought off a second-half comeback by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to win 63-54 Thursday evening in Edwardsville, Illinois. USI, which has won seven in a row, raised its record to 16-1 overall and 5-1 in the GLVC, while SIUE goes to 9-5, 5-2 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles, who entered the game as the GLVC's top offensive team, was held to its second lowest total of the season by the Cougars, who entered the game with the league's top ranked defense.

After SIUE tied the score 2-2, USI took control and proceeded to build a 22-point lead, 29-7, with 7:43 to play in the first half. SIUE tried to get back into the game with an eight-point run to make the score 29-14 before USI settled for a 17-point halftime margin of 36-19.

In the second half, the Eagles had to fight off a frantic comeback attempt by the Cougars. USI saw its lead shrink to as few as two points, 45-43, with 10:42 to play. The Eagles maintained control, rebuilding the lead to as many as nine points, 55-46. The Cougars would get back to within six points, 60-54, in the final minute, but no closer.

USI senior forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana) hit four free throws in the final minute to seal the victory and set the USI consecutive free throw record in the process. He has hit 37 free throws in a row, dating back to December 10, 2005. Van Winkle had entered the game tied with Chad Gilbert, who had hit 33 straight back in 1994-95.

With 10 points in the game, Van Winkle also reached a second milestone by becoming the 18th USI player to score over 1,000 career points. He has 1,008 career points in three-plus seasons.

Rashard Sullivan

USI senior center Rashard Sullivan (Miami, Florida) led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points, while junior guard Kenny Page (Indianapolis, Indiana) followed with 11 points. Sullivan and senior forward Marty Wise (New Orleans, Louisiana) tied for the team lead with eight rebounds each.

The Eagles completes the two-game conference road swing at 10th-ranked Quincy University Saturday at 3:15 p.m. The Hawks raised their record to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the GLVC with an 81-72 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan College tonight in Quincy, Illinois.

The USI-Quincy match-up will be the second time in last three games that the Eagles will play a ranked opponent. The Eagles also will have a change to take over first place in the GLVC West Division, entering the contest just a half-game behind the Hawks.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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