Eagles shock #1 Knights, 80-76

Eagles shock #1 Knights, 80-76

LOUISVILLE, KY (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball shocked top-ranked Bellarmine University, 80-76, Saturday evening in Louisville, Kentucky. The Screaming Eagles rise to 15-5 overall and 7-3 in the GLVC, while the Knights are 18-1, 9-1 GLVC. The USI victory, which was the first over a top-ranked team since the Eagles defeated the number-one ranked Knights in the 2012 GLVC Tournament, also snapped Bellarmine’s 67-game home winning streak and its 45-game GLVC home winning streak. The Eagles were on fire from the opening tip, racing out to a 14-3 lead in the first four minutes behind the hot hand of junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell (Bowling Green, Kentucky), who hit his first three shots and had eight of USI’s first 14 points. USI continued to build its first half advantage to as many as 18 points, 38-20, with 3:33 left before the intermission. The Knights made a run at the Eagles before the half with 13-3 run, but USI was able to take a 41-33 margin into the break. USI shot 57.7 percent (15-26) during the opening half, 63.6 percent (7-11) from beyond the arc. Caldwell led the Eagles during the first 20 minutes with 14 first half points. He was a blistering five-of-eight from the field and four-of-five from downtown. Senior guard/forward Nate Hansen (Evansville, Indiana) was second in the scoring column for the Eagles with nine points on two-of-three from long range and three-of-three from the stripe. The second half began with the Eagles pushing its lead back to double-digits through the first six minutes, reaching 13 points, 54-41, after sophomore forward Josh Price (Indianapolis, Indiana) hit a pair of free throws with 14:22 left in the game. Bellarmine bounced back and closed the gap to one point, 54-53, with 10 minutes to play on a 12-0 run. USI kept a firm grip on the lead and withstood every run by Bellarmine until the Knights knotted the game at 70-70 with 1:53 to play. USI senior guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana) took over for the next 68 seconds with a bucket and six free throws to put the Eagles in the lead 78-74 with 15 ticks on the clock. The Knights cut the lead to 78-76, but Caldwell drained a pair of free throws with three seconds left to seal the Eagles' 80-76 victory. Overall, USI shot 52.2 percent from the field (24-46), 47.4 percent from long range (9-19), and 85.2 percent from the stripe (23-27). The Eagles also won the battle on the boards, 30-21.Caldwell and Hansen led five USI players in double-digits with 18 points and 16 points, respectively. Caldwell was on fire from long range, hitting four-of-six from beyond the arc in the contest, while Hansen was a blistering five-of-four from the field, three-of-four from beyond the arc, and three-of-three from the line for the game. Stein finished the game with 14 points, scoring 11 of the points in the second half, to close out the top three. Sophomore forward Emmanuel Little (Indianapolis, Indiana) and sophomore guard Mateo Rivera(Indianapolis, Indiana) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points and 10 points respectively. Little also completed his eighth double-double of the year with a game-high 10 rebounds. USI continues its three-game road swing Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (CST) when the Eagles visit the University of Indianapolis and concludes the trip February 9 at 3 p.m. when they travel to Lewis University. Game coverage information for USI Men’s Basketball can be found on GoUSIEagles.com. UIndy raised its record to 15-5 overall and 8-2 in the GLVC after completing a road trip sweep with an 86-76 win at the University of Illinois Springfield. Lewis also completed a sweep of a GLVC road trip with a 69-61 victory over McKendree University to go to 15-4 overall, 7-3 GLVC. USI leads the all-time series with UIndy, 56-22 overall and 52-21 in GLVC, since the start of the series in 1972-73. The Eagles, who lead the series at Nicoson Hall, 17-14, and sweep the two-game series last season, winning 73-67 in Indianapolis and 87-65 at the Physical Activities Center. USI also has the series advantage versus Lewis, 46-25 overall and 38-25 in the GLVC, since the beginning of the match-ups in 1980-81. The Eagles and the Flyers split last season’s GLVC games with USI taking the game at the PAC, 84-75 in overtime, and Lewis taking the game in Neil Carey Arena, 73-52. The Flyers hold the edge in the series in Romeoville, 15-10.

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