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January 18, 2007

USI wins hard fought victory over Bellarmine

Box Score

#10 Southern Indiana (17-2, 6-2 GLVC): 88
Bellarmine (8-8, 4-4 GLVC): 80

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 10th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute to win a hard fought victory over Bellarmine University, 88-80, Thursday night at the Physical Activities Center. USI raises its record to 17-2 overall and 6-2 in the GLVC, while Bellarmine goes to 8-8, 4-4 GLVC.

Marty Wise

The Screaming Eagles trailed most of the first half and trailed by as many as nine points, 25-16, with 9:46 left in the opening stanza. USI chipped away at the margin and took the lead, 36-34, on a dunk by junior guard Kenny Love (South Bend, Indiana) at the 4:43 mark.

The Eagles finished the first half with a 9-3 run and led at the intermission, 43-37.

USI led all of the second half, but saw its lead cut to two points, 56-54, with 13:45 to play. The Eagles took command on a 10-2 run and would extend the lead to as many as 12 points, 81-69, before the Knights would make a final run.

Melvin Hall

USI senior guard Melvin Hall (Evansville, Indiana), senior forward Geoff Van Winkle (Ferdinand, Indiana), and senior center Rashard Sullivan (Miami, Florida) combined for seven free throws in the final 45 seconds to seal the victory, 88-80. Bellarmine got to within six points three times in the final minute.

Posting his fifth double-double of the year, senior forward Marty Wise (New Orleans, Louisiana) led the Eagles tonight. Wise, who scored eight of USI's first 12 points, had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

Wise was tied for the team lead in the scoring column by Hall, who also had 18 points and four three-point field goals. Van Winkle and Love followed with 13 points each, while Sullivan rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points.

The victory pulls USI to within a half game of West Division leading Quincy University, who lost to the University of Indianapolis, 68-63, in Indianapolis Thursday. The Eagles moved into second place in the West after Southern Illinois University Edwardsville lost to Saint Joseph's College, 57-46.

The Eagles return to action Saturday afternoon when they host Northern Kentucky University for a 3:15 p.m. contest. The Norse defeated Kentucky Wesleyan College, 76-65, in Owensboro, Kentucky, to raise their record 12-4 overall and 5-3 GLVC.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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