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January 10, 2009

Eagles grounded by Knights, 82-68

#5 Bellarmine (14-0, 5-0 GLVC): 82; #8 Southern Indiana (15-3, 5-1 GLVC): 68
Box Score


LOUISVILLE, Ky. The eighth-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team had its Division II-best 14-game winning streak stopped by fifth-ranked Bellarmine University, 82-68, Saturday evening in Louisville, Kentucky. USI falls to 15-3 overall and 5-1 in the GLVC, while Bellarmine goes to 14-0 overall, 5-0 GLVC.

The Knights jumped out in front early in the first half, using a 16-2 run to build a 20-6 advantage. The Screaming Eagles tried to cut into the lead, closing to within 28-20, only to see the Knights re-extend the lead to 41-28 by the half. Bellarmine shot 57.1 percent in the first stanza, while holding USI to 40 percent.

The Eagles improved offensively in the second half, shooting 61.9 percent (13-21), but the Knights were almost as good and prevented USI from shrinking the lead. Bellarmine shot 53.8 percent (14-26) in the second half and would lead by as many as 21 points in the final stanza.

A big key to the Bellarmine win was on the boards as the Knights outrebounded the Eagles, 33-23. USI had not been outrebounded since the third game of the season when it lost to Bentley at the Disney Division II Tip-off Classic.

A bright spot for the Eagles was the play of junior guard Jamar Smith (Peoria, Illinois). Smith dropped in a season-best and game-high 21 points, hitting seven-of-11 from the field, five-of-seven from beyond the arc, and two-of-four from the charity stripe.

USI junior guard Marvin Gray (Freeport, Bahamas) followed Smith in the scoring column with 14 points, 12 coming in the second half. Senior guard Kenny Love (South Bend, Indiana) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points.

USI returns to the friendly surroundings of the Physical Activities Center Thursday for the "Battle for the Bridge" when Kentucky Wesleyan College visits for a 7:30 p.m. contest.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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