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February 19, 2008

USI starts important road trip Thursday
Eagles go to SIUE and Quincy this week

USI Men's Basketball Game Notes

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team goes on the road for the final time in the 2007-08 regular season when it travels to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Quincy University this week. USI plays at SIUE Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and at Quincy Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

The road swing through central Illinois may be one of the most important trips of the season for the Screaming Eagles. USI (13-10, 7-8 GLVC) starts the week tied with SIUE for second in the GLVC West Division and for the right to host a first round game in the conference tournament on March 4. The Eagles currently hold the tie-breaker against the Cougars with a 74-69 victory at the Physical Activities Center on January 26.

USI's position in the standings also hinges on the outcome of the SIUE-Quincy game scheduled for Tuesday evening. SIUE could lead USI by a half-game on Thursday with a victory tonight, while Quincy needs a win to keep fighting for the chance to get into the league's post-season tournament.

The Eagles are coming off a 1-1 week at PAC, defeating Rockhurst University, 95-71, and losing to ninth-ranked Drury University, 70-68. Senior forward Norman Plummer (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Eagles last week by averaging 25 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two games.

For the season, Plummer leads the Eagles and the GLVC with 19.5 points per game and ranks third in the league with 10.0 rebounds per contest. Three other Eagles join Plummer in scoring double-figure scoring with junior forward Anthony Pimble (Bronx, New York), who is recording 11.7 points per game senior guard Tyson Schnitker (Robinson, Illinois), who is dropping in 10.6 points per outing and sophomore guard Darren Cloud (Evansville, Indiana), who is averaging 10.5 points per contest. Cloud missed the first meeting with SIUE with a sprained ankle.

Plummer also led USI against SIUE with 25 points in the first game, while Schnitker led the squad against Quincy with 22 points.

The Cougars of SIUE (14-9, 7-8 GLVC) are in the middle of a three-game winning streak and have been on a roll since playing the Eagles back in January, having won six of their last seven games. SIUE senior guard T.J. Gray leads the team with 16.5 points per game and had a team-best 17 points in the first game with USI.

USI leads the all-time series against SIUE, 44-19, and has won the last three meetings.

The Hawks of Quincy (11-12, 5-10 GLVC) also have been on a roll the last few weeks, winning their last two and four of the last six. QU senior guard Andre Muse leads the Hawks with 17.3 points per game and dropped in 18 points in the first meeting with USI.

USI leads the all-time series with Quincy, 21-7, despite losing the first meeting with the Hawks, 74-64, at the PAC in January.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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