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March 07, 2009

USI loses ugly game to bow out of GLVC Tournament
Eagles fall to Bellarmine 50-54

#18 Bellarmine (24-5): 54, #13 Southern Indiana (26-6): 50
Box Score

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The 13th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team bowed out of the GLVC Tournament with a 54-50 loss to 18th-ranked Bellarmine University Saturday night at the Physical Activities Center. USI falls to 26-6 overall, while Bellarmine goes to 24-5 in 2008-09.

The Screaming Eagles struggle out of the gate for the second straight game, spotting the Knight a nine point lead, 19-10, with 8:25 remaining in the first half. USI's offense caught fire and went on a 18-4 run to lead at halftime, 28-23.

After USI had battle back into the game, the GLVC semifinal was marred by a scuffle on the floor that resulted in the ejection of four Screaming Eagles (juniors Marvin Gray (Freeport, Bahamas), Brandon Russ (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jeron Lewis (Ft. Wayne, Indiana), and Isaac Stoll (Washington, Indiana)) and two Knights (Luke Sprague and Mark Veith). This was the second night in a row that Bellarmine had player ejected for fighting.

In the second half, a depleted USI squad could not overcome a deeper Bellarmine bench. The Knights slowly pulled ahead with 13 minutes to play and re-built a lead of seven, 45-38, with 6:53 left.

The Eagles tried to claw back into the contest, chipping away at the lead and closed to within one point twice, 45-44 and 47-46. That would be as close a USI could come and lost the 54-50 decision. Bellarmine advances to play Northern Kentucky University for the GLVC Tournament title Sunday at 2 p.m.

USI was led in the contest by junior guard Jamar Smith (Peoria, Illinois), who had 16 points, and senior forward Anthony Pimble (Bronx, New York), who had 12 points.

The Eagles must now away word on an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament and the Midwest Regional. The regional will likely be held at the University of Findley in Findley, Ohio, March 13-16.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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