USI stumbles against Lewis - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

USI stumbles against Lewis

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The 10th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team was upset by Lewis University, 63-59, Thursday evening at the Physical Activities Center. USI falls to 16-4 overall and 9-3 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Lewis rises to 13-7 overall, 7-5 GLVC.
 
The Screaming Eagles struggled from start to finish in the loss, beginning in the first half. USI shot only 29.6 percent from the field (8-27) and posted its largest lead of the game, 2-0, with the opening bucket by junior forward Taylor Wischmeier (Brownstown, Indiana). The Flyers posted their largest lead of the half at the intermission, 32-23.
 
Lewis pushed its lead to 11 points, 34-23, with the first basket of the second half. USI chipped away at the Lewis advantage, but its offense sputtered until there were 10 minutes remaining in the game.
 
The Eagles used a 9-1 run to pull to within two points, 52-50, with 5:29 left on a dunk by junior forward Orlando Rutledge (Louisville, Kentucky). USI's offensive run stalled as Lewis regained its footing and pushed the lead by back to five points, 56-51.
 
A mini-rally by USI chopped the deficit to one point three times in the final two minutes, but could not get overtake Lewis, which converted five-of-six free throws in the final 20 seconds.
 
For the game, USI shot a sub-par 36.8 percent from the field (21-57) and hit just 12.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc (2-16). The Eagles also committed 13 turnovers, 10 coming in the first half.
 
Individually, USI was led by the third-straight double-double performance of senior center Keith DeWitt (High Point, North Carolina). DeWitt had a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds, while blocking three shots.
 
Junior guard Lawrence Thomas (Springfield, Illinois) was the only other Eagle to reach double-digits in scoring with 10 points.
 
The loss drops the Eagles into second place and one game behind the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in the GLVC East Division. The Rangers moved into first with a 75-70 win at 23rd-ranked Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky, and rose to 15-5 overall, 10-2 in the GLVC.
 
USI concludes its homestand by celebrating Homecoming at 3:15 p.m. Saturday when it battles UW-Parkside for a chance to move back into a first place tie with the Rangers.

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