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February 09, 2002

Turnovers and fouls spell doom for Eagles in 81-68 loss at Lewis

University of Southern Indiana (18-6 overall, 11-5 GLVC): 68
@ Lewis University (16-6 overall, 11-5 GLVC): 81

The University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team had 19 turnovers, was out-rebounded 32-26, and sent its opponent to the line 33 times as it fell to Lewis University, 81-68, this afternoon in Romeoville, Illinois. The Screaming Eagles fall to 18-6 overall and 11-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference while the Flyers improve to 16-6 overall and tie the Eagles at 11-5 in the GLVC.

USI got off to a slow start as it saw Lewis reel off a 12-1 run and take an early 15-4 lead. The Eagles kept battling but found themselves down by 18 with 7:24 to go in the first period.

The Eagles stormed back and eventually got within 10 points with 53-seconds to play in the first half. However, a late foul, a technical foul, and four free throws pushed Lewis’s lead back to 14 at the break.

USI had just seven fouls at the half, but sent the Flyers to the free throw line 15 times. A normally poor free throw shooting team, Lewis made the Eagles pay this afternoon as it connected on 12 of the 15-first half attempts. The performance sent the Flyers to the locker room with a 45-31 halftime lead and forced the Eagles to play catch up in the second half.

“We lost the ball game in the first 10 minutes because we would not come out to play them,” Head Coach Rick Herdes said. “We did not execute and took shots that I did not understand.”

Lewis started the second period the way it left off in the first period. The Flyers connected on a three to open the half and push its lead to 17 points.

The Eagles, once again, fought back, this time getting within seven points with 14:23 to play in the contest. USI was within seven points on two occasions before Lewis pushed its lead back to double-digits with less than 10 minutes to play.

USI, down by 17, answered with a 10-0 run to bring the deficit back to seven points (70-63) for the third time in the half. Once again, though, Lewis countered USI’s run, this time with free throws, as it closed the door on an Eagle squad that battled back all game long.

USI committed 14 fouls and sent Lewis to the line 18 times in the second half, with the Flyers cashing in on 12 of the 18 opportunities. The Eagles, for the game, made it to the line just eight times, connecting on six of the free throw attempts.

Senior forward/center Ronnie Griffin (Louisville, Kentucky) led the Eagles with 12 points, nine of which came in the second half. Fellow classmate Kevin Robinson (Largo, Maryland) added 11 points, nine of which came in the second half, and three blocked shots.

For the game, the Eagles shot 47.5 percent from the floor but were 6-of-15 from behind the arc, including 2-of-9 in the second stanza.

The Eagles will return home for the final time this Thursday, February 14, and Saturday, February 16. USI will host Saint Joseph’s College on Thursday and the University of Indianapolis on Saturday. Both games are slated for 7:30 p.m. tip-offs and Saturday’s contest is Senior Day for the Eagles.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information
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