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February 24, 2007

#5 USI loses hard fought decision to Drury, 77-72
Eagles finish regular season 25-5

#5 Southern Indiana (25-5, 14-5 GLVC): 72
Drury (20-7, 13-6 GLVC): 77

Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The 5th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team lost a hard fought decision to Drury University, 77-72, Saturday afternoon in Springfield, Missouri. USI finishes the regular season 25-5 overall and 14-5 in the GLVC, while Drury goes to 20-7 overall, 13-6 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles spotted the Panthers a pair of eight-point leads, 16-8 and 18-10, early in the game. USI caught fire offensively with an 11-0 run to take a 21-18 lead. Drury took back the momentum briefly with a pair of buckets to lead 22-21.

The Eagles ran off six-straight points to retake the lead 27-22. USI would push its lead to as many as eight points, 38-30, before settling for the 40-38 lead at the half.

After USI would begin the second half by pushing the lead back to five, 45-40, Drury went on a 14-3 run to produce a 54-48 margin. The Eagles chipped away at the deficit and retook the lead, 62-61, on a lay-up by senior forward Keith Christmas (Gary, Indiana).

The game went back and forth in the final eight minutes, producing six lead changes and three ties, before Drury used a 6-0 run in the final 2:34 to win 77-72.

USI senior forward Geoff Van Winkle led the Eagles with 15 points on five three point field goals. Senior guard Melvin Hall (Evansville, Indiana) followed Van Winkle in the scoring column with 13 points, while junior guard Kenny Page (Indianapolis, Indiana) dropped in 11 points.

The USI double-figure scorers were rounded out by Christmas and junior guard Kenny Love (South Bend, Indiana) with 10 points each.

The Eagles begin post-season play next week in the GLVC Tournament as the number one seed from the West Division. The eight-team league tournament will be held at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Indiana, with the first round is scheduled for March 1. The semifinal and championship games are scheduled for March 3-4.

USI's first round opponent will be Lewis University, the fourth seed from the East Division. Lewis, which lost to USI, 82-68, back in January, finished the year 15-12 overall and 10-9 in the GLVC. The USI-LU tip-off time Thursday is 6 p.m.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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