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November 17, 2001

Eagles fall to Wingate at Disney

University of Southern Indiana (1-1): 97
Wingate University (2-0): 113

The 11th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team fell to 15th-ranked Wingate University, 97-113, this evening at the Disney Wide World of Sports Division II Tip-off Classic in Orlando, Florida. The Screaming Eagles fall to 1-1 on the season with the loss while Wingate advances to the championship game against Lynn University.

Turnovers combined with free throws and three-point shooting killed USI in the first half. The Eagles committed 16 turnovers, went one-for-11 from behind the arc, and where just 11-of-19 from the charity stripe as they went into the locker rooms trailing 46-54.

USI also got into foul trouble as senior centers Ronnie Griffin (Louisville, Kentucky) and Shirica Shy (Gordon, Georgia) where limited to a combined 10 minutes. Both went into halftime with three fouls each.

Senior forward Marlowe Currie (St. Louis, Missouri) and sophomore forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) picked up much of the slack for the Eagles in the first half. The two combined for 35 of USI’s 46 points in the first stanza. Currie tallied 19 of his game-high 31 points while Harris tallied 16 of his 20 points and six of his team-high 10 rebounds in the first period.

Wingate had the hot hands in both periods as it shot .553 from the floor in the first half and .579 in the second half. “You have got to play better defense than that,” head coach Rick Herdes stated. “We did such a good job of holding them (Texas A&M-Commerce) down to 37 percent. We let them shoot 56 percent tonight. You cannot win basketball games doing that.”

USI got with in four points of the Bulldogs on two separate occasions in the second half, but could not find an answer for Wingate’s Marcus Thompson and Djuan Hankins. Thompson recorded 11 of his 19 points while Hankins scored 17 of his 19 points in the second frame.

The Eagles improved in the second half as they limited themselves to seven turnovers and went nine-of-11 from the free throw stripe. “We did a better job of not turning the ball over in the second half and we did a good job on the boards,” Herdes explained. “It seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong. We would cut into the lead and they would throw in a three.”

USI will face Grand Valley State University tomorrow in the consolation round. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.

“We play a GLIAC team tomorrow,” Herdes explained. “You can’t get too high and you can’t get too low. Just like last night we had a very good win and now we have that ‘L’ on the other side. We have to regroup and we have to be ready to go on.

Dan McDonnell,
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