Eagles overcome slow start, defeat Pumas, 78-66

Eagles overcome slow start, defeat Pumas, 78-66

RENNSELAER, IN - The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team overcame a slow start and defeated Saint Joseph's College, 78-66, Thursday night in Rensselaer, Indiana. USI goes to 11-2 overall and 4-1 GLVC, while Saint Joseph's sees its record go to 4-12, 1-5 GLVC.

The Screaming Eagles and the Pumas were dead even after the first 20 minutes of the contest. USI spotted Saint Joseph's the first five points of the game and eventually trailed by as many as eight points, 21-13, before the offense got moving.

An 11-3 run would give the Eagles their first tie of the contest, 24-24, and propel them to their first lead, 30-29. USI would extend the margin to its largest advantages of the half, 32-29 and 34-31.

The Pumas tried to regain the momentum before halftime and would briefly take back the lead, 37-35, with 32 second left before the break. USI beat the buzzer with final bucket of the half, knotting up the contest, 37-37, at the intermission.

In the second half, the Pumas once again raced out to another five-point lead, 42-37. The Eagles jumped started the offense for a second time with an 11-0 run to post their largest lead to that point, 48-42. Saint Joseph's would pull to within two points, 59-57, with 10:20 remaining, but that would be as close as the Pumas would get the rest of the game.

The final 10 minutes of the contest was all USI as it would slowly extend the two-point advantage to double-digits, 71-61, with 3:51to play. USI would push the lead to as many as 13 points, 77-64, before settling for the 12-point final, 78-66.

USI senior guard Gavin Schumann (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior forward George Edwards (Chicago, Illinois) would lead the Eagles with 25 points each. Schumann, who also had a team-high five assists, would get his 25 points on six-of-13 from the field and a clutch 13-of-14 from the free throw line.

Edwards, who made his first start as an Eagle versus the Pumas, reached a season-best 25 points for a third time this season on 11-of-20 from the field and three-of-five from the charity stripe. The junior also posted his sixth double-double of the season with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Senior guard TeNale Roland (New Albany, Indiana) rounded out the USI double-digit scorers with 11 points. Roland also tied a season-best by making three steals.

As a team, USI outrebounded Saint Joseph's, 41-31, and forced the Pumas into 19 turnovers.

USI concludes their longest road swing of the year Saturday when its makes the trip to the third-ranked University of Indianapolis. Game time Saturday at UIndy is 2:15 p.m. (CST).

The Greyhounds rose to 14-0 overall and 6-0 in the GLVC after defeating fourth-ranked Bellarmine University, 66-62, Thursday. Bellarmine, which saw its record go to 12-2, 4-1 GLVC, visits Saint Joseph's Sunday before visiting the Physical Activities Center Monday to play the Eagles at 7:30 p.m.

Courtesy: USI Sports Information Department