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December 27, 2008

USI concludes 2008 against Tiffin
Smith to make USI debut


Link to NABC/Division II Top 25

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team concludes the 2008 calendar year when it hosts Tiffin University on December 30. The third contest in a six-game homestand starts at 7:30 p.m.

The 18th-ranked Screaming Eagles (11-2) will be looking to end calendar year with a perfect 5-0 December mark and extend the squad's 10-game winning streak. USI has been doing the job on both ends of the court, averaging 93.5 points and allowing just 59.8 point per contest.

The Eagles are led during the winning streak and for the season by junior forward Brandon Russ (Cincinnati, Ohio). Russ has been red hot from the field during the winning streak, averaging 15.4 points per contest and shooting 71.6 percent from the field (58-81). He also is shooting 83.3 percent during the four December games (25-30).

For the season, Russ is the team leader with 14.1 points per game.

Wednesday's match-up with Tiffin also marks the debut of junior guard Jamar Smith (Peoria, Illinois) in a USI uniform. Smith joins the Eagles after two seasons at the University of Illinois and sitting out last season. He had a career average of 8.0 points per game in 53 games with the Illini between 2005 and 2007.

Tiffin (1-8), who are in the midst of their first season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, comes to the Physical Activities Center in the middle of a six game losing streak. The Dragons have had trouble scoring the last five games, averaging 54 points per outing. TU junior guard Alex Strok leads the Dragons 12.1 points per game.

USI leads the all-time series with Tiffin, 3-0, and won the only meeting of last year, 87-49.

Following the USI match-up with Tiffin, the Eagles will restart the GLVC schedule with the New Year. USI will host Saint Joseph's College on January 2 and the University of Indianapolis on January 4.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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