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November 08, 2008

Sluggish offense hurts USI against #8 Minnesota State

Minnesota State (1-1) 68, Southern Indiana (1-1) 60
Box Score


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team was slowed offensively by eighth-ranked Minnesota State University and lost 68-60 in the second round of the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic Saturday afternoon at the Milk House in Disney's Wide World of Sports.

The Screaming Eagles (1-1) took a quick lead scoring in the opening minutes of the game, but the Mavericks responded with an 11-2 run to post their largest lead of the first half, 11-5.

The teams traded baskets until USI made a run to take its largest lead of the game, 34-26, with a 9-0 spurt. Minnesota State was not to be outdone, however, going on an 11-0 run to take a 37-34 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Eagles pulled even with the Mavericks at 41-41 with 16:03 to play. USI was able post leads of three points three times, only to see Minnesota State come back to tie.

The Mavericks took the lead for the final time with 5:48 to play on three-point field. Minnesota State made that three point lead stand up the rest of the way, never letting USI get to within less than two points in the final minutes.

Minnesota State also did the job at the free throw line hitting eight-of-eight down the stretch.

While the Mavericks were getting the job done offensively and defensively, the Eagles struggled on the offensive end. USI was just nine-of-27 from the field in the second half and was two-of-seven in the final three minutes.

Individually, USI was led by junior forward/center Brandon Russ (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 15 points. Junior forward/center Brandon Carr (Baltimore, Maryland) followed Russ with 11 first half points, while freshman guard Brandon Hogg (Edwardsville, Illinois) posted his first double-figure game as a collegiate with 10 points.

USI junior forward Tyrone Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio) continued to be a shot blocking machine for the Eagles, blocking five more shots today.

With USI losing to Minnesota State, all four squads in the Group Learning division have 1-1 records. Third-ranked Bentley College, which defeated Minnesota State Friday, lost to Saint Martin's University in the first game Saturday. A USI win over Bentley on Sunday and a Minnesota State loss to Saint Martin's would give the Screaming Eagles their fourth Disney Division II Tip –Off crown.

USI and Bentley tip off Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (CST).

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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