LIBERTY, MO. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball completed its road-trip sweep with a 76-60 win over William Jewell College Saturday afternoon in Liberty, Missouri. USI goes to 11-4 overall and 3-4 in the GLVC, while William Jewell is 6-9, 1-6 GLVC.
The opening minutes of the first half had the Eagles down 8-4 early before USI used a 13-2 lead to grab initial lead, 17-10, at the 12:06 mark, led by senior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell’s five points during the run. The Cardinals, however, responded with a 19-7 scamper of their own to post a 29-24 advantage with five to play before intermission.
USI regained the momentum in the final minutes of the half with another 9-2 surge to regain the lead at the break, 33-31. Senior guard Darnell Butler scored all nine of the points during the race to the break, including a three from the left corner to put the Eagles back in front, 31-29, with 1:35 before halftime.
The Eagles continued their run into the second half extending the surge to 19-4 and the lead to 10 points, 43-33, when junior guard Mateo Rivera drove through the lane for a runner. USI, as a team, was seven-of-12 from the field during the run.
The margin extended to 14-points, 50-36, with 13:55 remaining when junior forward Emmanuel Little collected a bucket before William Jewell began a run to whittle the USI advantage to six points, 57-51, with 6:13 left and for a final time, 59-53, at the 5:49 mark. This would be as close as the Cardinals would come to the Eagles the rest of the way as USI raced away, 17-7, in the last five minutes for the 76-60 final.
Caldwell sparked the Eagles in the final minutes with seven of his season-high 12 points, while the team was four-of-five from the field and eight-of-10 from the stripe. USI also shot 60 percent from the field in the second half (15-25) and held William Jewell to 32.5 percent (13-40) in the final 20 minutes.
The Eagles had five players reach double-figures in scoring, led by 14 points by Rivera and 13 points each by Butler and junior guard/forward Clayton Hughes. Little, who posted his fourth double-double of the year with a team-high 10 rebounds, and Caldwell rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points each.
USI returns to the friendly surroundings of Screaming Eagles Arena for a three-game homestand beginning Monday with a 7:30 p.m. contest with McKendree University. The homestand also includes a 7:30 p.m. showdown Thursday with Truman State University and a 3:15 p.m. tip January 25 versus Quincy University.
The McKendree Bearcats come to Screaming Eagles Arena Monday with a 9-6 overall record and 4-3 in the GLVC after loss at Rockhurst University, 82-79, today in Kansas City, Missouri.
USI leads the all-time series versus McKendree University, 12-8, after falling, 68-64, in the 2019-20 GLVC opener in Lebanon, Illinois, in December, a game that had the Eagles up by 19 during the first half. The Eagles, who also hold a 7-3 lead in series home game, was led in the December loss by Hughes, who had 16 points, with Laravie and Little following with 13 points and 10 points, respectively.