The 23rd-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team ended a two-game losing skid by upsetting the 12th-ranked University of Indianapolis, 87-62, Thursday evening in Indianapolis, Indiana. USI rises to 17-5 overall and 10-4 in the GLVC, while UIndy goes to 17-5, 9-5 GLVC.
The Screaming Eagles took flight in the first half, overcoming a four-point deficit with a 16-2 run to lead by 10 points, 21-11. USI would extend the lead to as many as 14 points, 37-23, by the intermission.
Junior forward Orlando Rutledge (Louisville, Kentucky) led the Eagles with 13 points in the opening half, while senior center Keith DeWitt (High Point, North Carolina) and junior guard Ben Jones (Robinson, Illinois) dropped in nine points each. Jones was a perfect three-of-three from beyond the three-point arc for his nine points.
USI also did the job on the defensive end during the opening 20 minutes, holding UIndy to 25 percent from the field (7-28) and blocking seven shots.
The Eagles continued to roll to start the second half, increasing the halftime lead to as many as 24 points, 56-32, with 13:46 left. UIndy started to chip away at the USI advantage, cutting the lead to 70-58 with 5:51 remaining in the game.
The momentum swung back to the Eagles when junior guard Lawrence Thomas (Springfield, Illinois) posted steals on back-to-back possessions and enabled USI to push the lead up to 16 points, 74-58, with 4:24 on the clock. It was all Eagles in the last four minutes as they extended the lead to a 25-point final, 87-62, and held the Greyhounds to just four points after the final media timeout. The Eagles limited the Greyhounds to just 38.8 percent (19-49) in the game.
USI shot a blistering 60 percent in the game (30-50), nearly 20 points better than the two losses at home last week. The Eagles also were 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc (8-16) and 73.1 percent from the line (19-26).
Individually, Rutledge finished with a game-high 25 points and reached 20-or-more points for the fifth time this season. DeWitt and Jones followed with 14 points each, while Thomas and junior forward Taylor Wischmeier (Brownstown, Indiana) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points apiece.
The 14 points off the bench was a career-high for Jones, who was four-of-five from the field and four-of-four from long range. Senior guard Kenyon Smith (Chicago, Illinois) tied a career-best with seven assists.
The Eagles reach the halfway mark of the three-game road trip Saturday when they travel to Rensselaer, Indiana, to play Saint Joseph's College at a special 1 p.m. tip-off. The Pumas went to 6-15 overall and 4-10 in the GLVC after losing at home to Kentucky Wesleyan College, 75-67, tonight.
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