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February 02, 2002

Brunson keys Eagles to Homecoming victory over Rivermen

@University of Southern Indiana (17-5 overall, 10-4 GLVC): 72
University of Missouri-St. Louis (7-12 overall, 3-11 GLVC): 63

Deuces were wild in the University of Southern Indiana menís basketball game against the University of Missouri-St. Louis. It was number 22, Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana) that led the Screaming Eagles to a come-from-behind 72-63 victory over the Rivermen in their homecoming game at the Physical Activities Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Brunson scorched the Rivermen for a game-high 22 points on the second day of the second month of the second year in the second millennium. The freshman guard scored 16 of those 22 points in the second period, including 12 points in the final six minutes of the ball game, as the Eagles came back from a five-point second-half deficit.

Down by four with 6:25 to go in the game, the Eagles used an 11-0 run to take a 62-55 lead with 3:46 left to play. UMSL answered the run with a shot from behind the arc, cutting the USI lead to four.

However, Brunson, who scored five points during USIís 11-0 run, connected on a three-pointer to stick the dagger in the hearts of the Rivermen. Brunson, a graduate of Reitz High School, did not commit a turnover and was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe as the Eagles raised their record to 17-5 overall and 10-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Rivermen fall to 7-12 overall and 3-11 in the GLVC.

USI shot the ball just 22 times in the second frame, but connected on 11 of those shots, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The Eagles also went to the free throw line 24 times and held the Rivermen to 34.5 percent shooting from the floor in the second period.

The first period saw the Eagles struggle on the boards and in the scoring column. USI was out-rebounded 19-12 and went into the locker room down by a point at 32-31.

Senior forward/center Ronnie Griffin (Louisville, Kentucky) led the Eagles in the first stanza with eight points. Griffin finished the contest with 13 points and four rebounds.

Fellow classmates Wes Attebury (Evansville, Indiana) and Matt Carter (Cannelton, Indiana) finished with 10 and nine points, respectively. Carter scored all nine of his points on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.

Senior center Kevin Robinson (Largo, Maryland) led the Eagles with six rebounds and a game-high four blocked shots.

The Eagles will go on the road for a pair of GLVC contests next Thursday, February 7, and Saturday, February 9. USI will visit Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Thursday in a 7:45 p.m. tip before it ends its short two-game road trip Saturday at Lewis University in a 3:15 p.m. tip-off.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information
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