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February 05, 2002

USI hits the road for a pair of GLVC games

The University of Southern Indiana menís basketball team will hit the road for a pair of Great Lakes Valley Conference contests, visiting Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Thursday, February 7, and Lewis University Saturday, February 9.

The Screaming Eagles are looking for regular season sweeps in both games this week. The Eagles outscored the Flyers 42-35 in the second half to win 82-75 in November and had to comeback from as many as 18 points to defeat the Cougars 102-96 in January at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (17-5,10-4 GLVC) is riding a four-game winning streak after sweeping the homestand. After starting the year with a 5-4 record, the Eagles have won 12 of its last 13 games and are within a game of second place Northern Kentucky University and three games of first place Kentucky Wesleyan College with six league games remaining.

The Eagles, which are 5-4 on the road this year, have been led over the last month by senior center Ronnie Griffin (Louisville, Kentucky) and freshman guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana).

Griffin, who is averaging a team-high 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the season, has led the team in GLVC action with 15.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg. Brunson, a leading candidate for GLVC Freshman of the Year, is second on the team with 13.6 ppg, but has led the team with 20.1 points per contest over the last seven games.

Brunson led the Eagles against the Cougars with a season-best 26 points, while Griffin was the team leader against Lewis with 21 points.

SIUE (7-14, 3-12 GLVC) has had its troubles in 2002, losing eight of nine since January 1. The Cougars had five players in double-figures in the loss at the PAC, led by freshman guard Rob Baumgardner with 23 points. SIUE shot 57.7 percent from the field in the first game, hitting 30-of-52 (12-of-24 from beyond the three-point arc).

Senior forward Marty Perry leads SIUE for the season with 16.9 ppg and 6.0 rpg.

Lewis (15-5, 10-4 GLVC) is tied with the Eagles for third in the GLVC, a game behind second place NKU. The Flyers have won 10 of their last 12 games with NKU breaking their four-game winning streak last Saturday.

In the first meeting back in November, the Flyers were led by senior guard Sammy Bacino, who had 16 points and eight assists, and sophomore center Austin Real with 12 points and 10 rebounds. For the season, Bacino leads the Flyers with 14.2 points per game, while Real is second in scoring with 12.2 per contest and is averaging a team-high 6.2 rebounds.

The game time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at SIUE and 3 p.m. on Saturday at Lewis.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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