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January 31, 2002

Eagles blast past Tigers in non-conference action

@ University of Southern Indiana (16-5): 92
Olivet Nazarene University (18-6): 71

It took a while, but a 22-11 run to close the first half and a 15-4 run to open the second half sparked the University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team to a 92-71 victory over NAIA foe Olivet Nazarene University this evening at the Physical Activities Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles, who improve to 3-0 all-time against ONU, improve to 16-5 while the Tigers fall to 18-6 on the season.

Freshman guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) scored a game-high 18 points to lead four Eagles that scored in double-figures. Sophomore forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) tapped in with 16 points and a game-high six rebounds.

USI shot a blistering 65.4 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc, as it went into the locker room with a 48-35 halftime lead. USI was 11-of-13 from the charity stripe in the first stanza as it pulled away from a 26-24 lead with 8:44 to go in the period.

Brunson and senior forward/center Ronnie Griffin (Louisville, Indiana) led the Eagles in the first frame with 10 points apiece. Griffin finished the game with 14 points and a game-high four steals.

The Eagles cooled down to a modest 54.1 percent shooting from the floor in the second half, but connected on three more shots than they did in the first period.

Senior center Kevin Robinson (Largo, Maryland) contributed 13 points to the Eagle scoring attack and finished with a game-high three blocks to go along with four assists.

USI got great distribution out of sophomore point guard Mike Arnold (Indianapolis, Indiana). Arnold finished with a game and career-high eight assists in 23 minutes of work.

The Eagles, who have won 11 of their last 12 games, will wrap up their four-game homestand this Saturday, February 2, when the University of Missouri-St. Louis comes to the Physical Activities Center.

Saturdayís contest is homecoming for the Eagles and there will be an Alumni basketball game at 3 p.m. at the PAC. Game time for the USI-UMSL game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
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