EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball overcame a slow start to dominate Brescia University, 93-67, in the 2017-18 home opener Tuesday evening at the Physical Athletics Center. USI watched its record to 3-2 overall in 2017-18, while Brescia, which is a member of the NAIA and considers the game an exhibition, remains 0-2.
The Screaming Eagles started slow, hitting only two-of-seven from the field and falling behind by nine points, 15-6, at the 14:23 mark of the first half. USI rallied midway through the half with a 14-5 run to take a 29-27 lead with 6:25 to play before halftime and extended the lead to as many as nine points (45-36) before settling for the 45-38 margin at the intermission.
USI freshman forward Emmanuel Little (Indianapolis, Indiana) and junior guard/forward Nate Hansen (Evansville, Indiana) led the offensive attack during the first half. Little had 12 points on a near perfect five-of-six from the field, while Hansen dropped in 10 points on four-of-six.
The Eagles quadrupled their lead in the first 10 minutes of the second half, enlarging the margin to 28 points, 71-43, with 10:35 to play. The lead would not shrink below 21 points in the final 10 minutes as USI cruised to the 26-point, 93-67 final.
USI junior guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana), who was honored prior to the game for becoming the 20th Eagle to reach 1,000 or more points in his career, led USI offensive charge with 19 points, 15 coming in the second half. Stein was seven-of-11 from the field, two-of-two from long range and three-of-three from the line.
Following Stein in the scoring column was Little, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds to post his second double-double his career. Senior forward Julius Rajala (Helsinki, Finland) added 12 points, while freshman guard Mateo Rivera (Indianapolis, Indiana) and senior center Davis Carter (Denver, Colorado) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points each.
As a team, USI shot 55.7 percent from the field (39-70), 50 percent from beyond the arc (8-16). The Eagles also dominated the board, 52-31.
The Eagles continue their four-game homestand November 20 when they host Fisk University for a 7 p.m. match-up. The second half of the homestand follows after Thanksgiving when USI hosts Martin Methodist College November 25 and concludes Lewis University visits to open Great Lakes Valley Conference play November 30.