The 15th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team used a 24-10 run in the final in the last 11 minutes to upset fourth-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan College, 72-53, Monday evening at the Sportscenter in Owensboro, Kentucky. USI rises to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the GLVC, while KWC falls for the first time this year and goes to 14-1, 6-1 GLVC.
The 19-point win over the Panthers is the largest margin of victory by the Screaming Eagles all-time in the Sportscenter. The game was the final GLVC contest at the Sportscenter between the two historic programs.
The Eagles took control early, flying out to a 17-9 lead with 13:37 left in the opening half. Junior forward Orlando Rutledge (Louisville, Kentucky) led the early USI surge with eight of the first 17 points.
KWC rallied and chopped the USI lead to four points, 27-23, at 3:25 before the intermission. The Eagles responded with an 11-4 run to end the half and went into the locker room with a 38-27 advantage.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the Eagles seemed to fly away from the Panthers with six-straight points and extended the halftime margin to 17, 44-27. KWC, however, was not ready to concede and went on a 16-4 surge to get to within five points, 48-43, with 13:20 to play.
USI responded by nailing down the defensive end and held KWC to just three field goals in the final 13 minutes of action. The Eagles also converted on the offensive side with junior forwardsvTaylor Wischmeier (Brownstown, Indiana) and Manny Ogunfolu (Rockport, Maryland) scoring six points each during the winning 24-10 run.
As a team, USI shot 48.3 percent from the field (28-58), including a blistering 70 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (7-10), and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe (9-11). The Eagles also won the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Panthers, 39-34.
Rutledge and Wischmeier led the Eagles, individually, with 14 points and 12 points, respectively. Senior center Keith DeWitt (High Point, Maryland) had a team-high nine rebounds, while Wischmeier and Rutledge grabbed six boards each.
The Eagles continue the three-game road trip when they travel to the northern part of the GLVC to play the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Thursday in Somers, Wisconsin, and Lewis University Saturday in Romeoville, Illinois. Game time at UW-Parkside is 7:30 p.m., while tip-off at Lewis is slated for 3 p.m.
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