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January 20, 2009

USI turns west in the GLVC
Eagles start West Division portion of schedule

USI Game Notes; NABC Division II Top 25

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team turns its attention west when it hosts the University of Missouri-St. Louis Thursday and Missouri University of Science and Technology Saturday at the Physical Activities Center. Game time Thursday is 7:30 p.m., while tip-off Saturday is 3:15 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles (15-4, 5-2 GLVC), who dropped to 21st in the latest NABC/Division II Top 25, are looking to get back on track after consecutive losses in the GLVC. USI lost its only game last week to Kentucky Wesleyan College, 69-63, in the "Battle for the Bridge" at the PAC. The squad was led against KWC by senior guard Kenny Love (South Bend, Indiana), who had 15 points, and junior guard Jamar Smith (Peoria, Illinois), who dropped in 12 points.

For the season, Smith leads four players who are scoring in double figures with 15.0 points per game. He is followed by junior forward Brandon Russ (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 12.9 points per game; junior guard Marvin Gray (Freeport, Bahamas), 11.8 points per contest; and senior forward Anthony Pimble (Bronx, New York), 11.5 points per appearance.

After finishing their campaign against the GLVC East Division with a 5-2 mark, the Eagles will play 10 of their remaining 11 games against teams from the GLVC West. The only USI game not to feature a GLVC West match-up is a non-conference contest versus Lake Erie College next Monday at the PAC.

First up from the West is the Tritons of UMSL (11-7, 3-5 GLVC). UMSL has just one win in the last five games, but that win was over second-ranked Bellarmine University, 70-69. The Tritons are led by senior forward Alex Jackson, who is dropping in 11.7 points per game, and senior guard Aaron Jackson, who is scoring 10.9 points per contest.

USI leads the all-time series with UMSL, 26-11, and has won 16-of-18 since 2000. The Eagles took both ends of the series last year, winning 67-44 in St. Louis, Missouri, and 81-62 at the PAC.

This week concludes when USI hosts the Hawks of Rockhurst (10-6, 6-2 GLVC). Rockhurst leads the GLVC West by a half-game and also is coming off a win over Bellarmine, 79-68. The Hawks are led by junior guard Aaron Hill, who is second in the GLVC with 20.4 points per game, and senior forward Alden Smith, who is scoring at a 14.9 points per contest pace.

The Eagles are in command of the all-time series with the Hawks, 6-1, since the first match-up in 2005-06. Last year, USI swept Rockhurst, winning 61-60 in Kansas City, Missouri, and 95-71 at the PAC.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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