Eagles Hold on for Big 98-79 win over WJC

Eagles Hold on for Big 98-79 win over WJC

LIBERTY, MO (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball had to withstand a second half run by William Jewell College to post a 98-79 victory Saturday afternoon in Liberty, Missouri. The Screaming Eagles go to 13-4 overall and 5-2 in the GLVC, while the Cardinals are 8-11, 2-5 GLVC. The Eagles wasted little time in taking command of the game during the first 10 minutes, racing out to a 17-point lead, 29-12, with 11:08 left to halftime after sophomore forward Josh Price (Indianapolis, Indiana) connected on a pair of free throws. USI shot 76.5 percent (13-17) to begin the contest and was led by junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell (Bowling Green, Kentucky) with 11 points during the offensive surge. The first half saw the Eagles extend the lead to as many as 19 points twice (47-28 and 49-30) before going to the locker room with a 51-35 advantage. Caldwell finished the half with 18 points on eight-of-12 from the field, while senior guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana) posted 14 first stanza points on a perfect six-of-six from the field and two-of-two from the line. In the first nine minutes of the second half, USI had to withstand William Jewell’s 28-14 run that saw the 16-point halftime advantage shrink to two points, 65-63, with 11 minutes to play. The Eagles rebounded and methodically rebuilt the lead before sealing the 98-79 victory once and for all with a 21-8 run. Senior guard/forward Nate Hansen (Evansville, Indiana) led the USI run to the finish with 11 of the 21 points. For the game, USI shot over 50 percent for the third time in four games, hitting 56.9 percent from the field (37-65). The Eagles also dominated the glass with a plus-20, 41-21, advantage. Caldwell added 11 points in the second half and finished with a season-high 29 points. He was eight-of-12 from the field, two-of-four from long range, to propel the USI offense. Stein followed with 21 points, marking his ninth game this season with 20-or-more points. He was nine-of-12 from the field, including the six-of-six to start the game, and three-of-three from the line. Hansen rounded out the double-digit scorers with 18 points, scoring 14 in the second half. The senior, who has reached double-digits off the bench in each of his last three games, was six-of-12 from the field, three-of-six from downtown, and three-of-four from the line. USI senior forward Jacob Norman (Evansville, Indiana), who had four points during the game-sealing run in the second half, tied a season-high with six points and dished a team-high and career-best six assists. USI returns to the friendly surroundings of the Physical Activities Center next week when it hosts Missouri University of Science & Technology Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Drury University Saturday at 3:15 p.m. Game coverage information for USI Men’s Basketball can be found on GoUSIEagles.com. USI leads the all-time series with Missouri University of Science & Technology, 16-3, since the series started in the 1983-84 season. The Eagles, who are 15-1 against the Miners since they joined the GLVC in 2004-05, defeated Missouri S&T last season at the PAC, 98-78. Sophomore forward Emmanuel Little had his best game as a freshman in the win with 29 points and 21 rebounds. The series between USI and Drury is knotted up at 11-11 after the Panthers defeated the Eagles last season during the regular season in Springfield, Missouri, 71-61, and in the GLVC Tournament, 79-72. Forward Julius Rajala led the Eagles versus the Panthers last season with 17.0 points per game, while Stein posted 15.0 points per contest in the two outings.

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