USI Men Beat Midwestern St., to Earn Split in Las Vegas

USI Men Beat Midwestern St., to Earn Split in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team came back from a 13-point first half deficit to defeat Midwestern State University, 78-70, Tuesday afternoon in the Rollins University Las Vegas Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. USI watched its record rise to 9-3 overall, while Midwestern State goes to 3-9 in 2017-18 campaign.
 
The Eagles trailed by 10 points at the end of a tough first half, 37-27. Midwestern State took control of the opening 20 minutes with a 17-2 run and built a 13-point advantage, 29-16, at the 5:10 mark. The Mustangs' run also was aided by the Eagles going scoreless for over five minutes midway through the half.  
 
USI's offense sparked toward the end of the first half with an 11-4 run to cut the deficit to 33-27 before Midwestern State got the last four points before halftime to lead 37-27.
 
In the second half, the Eagles continued to build upon the momentum from the end of the first 20 minutes and quickly used an 18-8 run to knot the game up at 45-45 before the second media time out. The Mustangs had rebuilt their lead to 62-59 with 7:06 to play when the Eagles used a 14-3 run to take control of the contest and build a 73-65 advantage with 1:54 left.
 
Down the stretch in the final two minutes, USI sealed the 78-70 victory with free throws five different Eagles –  senior forwards Julius Rajala (Helsinki, Finland) and DayJar Dickson (Washington, D.C.); junior guard/forward Nate Hansen (Evansville, Indiana); junior guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana); and freshman guard Mateo Rivera (Indianapolis, Indiana).
 
Individually for the game, Hansen led the five Eagles in double-digits with a game-high and season-high 23 points. The junior guard/forward, who had 16 of his 23 points in the second half, was six-of-14 from the field, five-of-10 from beyond the arc, and six-of-eight from the line.
 
Dickson followed Hansen in the scoring column with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and his second as an Eagle. The senior forward was six-of-12 from the field and four-of-five from the stripe, in addition to grabbing five offensive and six defensive rebounds.
 
Stein finished the game with 13 points, while Rajala and Rivera rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points each.
 
USI will finish the 2017 calendar year by starting a three-game homestand December 30-31 with a shortened Bill Joergens Classic. The Eagles are slated to host Lake Superior State University December 30 at 1 p.m. and Ohio Valley University December 31 at 1 p.m.
 
The final game of the three-game homestand is January 4 when USI re-starts Great Lakes Valley Conference action by hosting the University of Missouri-St. Louis at the PAC.

Courtesy:  USI Sports Information Dept.  Copyright 2017, WFIE, All rights reserved.