ROLLA, MO. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball overcame a slow start to defeat Missouri University of Science & Technology, 89-66, Saturday afternoon in Rolla, Missouri. USI goes to 17-5 overall and 9-5 in the GLVC, while Missouri S&T finishes the afternoon 5-15, 3-11 GLVC.
The Eagles started slow, falling behind 8-0 and going without a basket until junior forward Emmanuel Little scored at the 16:09 mark of the opening half. Missouri S&T would extend its lead to nine points twice (10-1 and 12-3) before the Eagles went to work.
USI took command with an 18-4 run to post a 29-20 lead with 7:28 before the end of the half. Senior guard Joe Laravie scored eight points during the run to lead the way as the Eagles were seven-of-12 from field, two-of-three from beyond the arc.
The Eagles extended the lead out to 12 points, 37-25, with 96 seconds remaining in the first 20 minutes. The Miners closed the gap in the final minute to 39-31 with a 6-2 run as USI went into the intermission with the lead.
In the second half, USI went to work on methodically extending its advantage, pushing the margin to 18 points, 60-42, by the 11:28 mark when Laravie deposited a bucket in the lane. The lead continued to grow past the 20-point mark, reaching a game-high 27 points, 89-62, with 1:07 on the clock when sophomore guard Humaad Khan hit a three-pointer.
The Miners would get the final four points of the game before the Eagles closed out the 89-66 victory.
USI was dominating after the first four minutes, outscoring the Miners, 86-54, by shooting 50.7 percent from the field (34-67), 38.9 percent from downtown (7-18), and 70 percent from the stripe (14-20). The Eagles also won the battle of the glass, 46-33.
Individually, Little led five players in double-digits with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the year and his second of the road trip. The junior forward was seven-of-14 from the field and four-of-five from the line in 24 minutes of action.
USI returns to the friendly surroundings of Screaming Eagles Arena next week after a two week absence for a pair of games and begin the final stretch of the regular season with six of eight at home. The Eagles begin Homecoming Week with Lindenwood University Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and finish with ninth-ranked University of Missouri-St. Louis for the Homecoming game Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Lindenwood is 9-13 overall and 3-11 in the GLVC after posting a 74-64 at Quincy University this afternoon. USI won the first meeting in program history with Lindenwood, 83-74, in St. Charles, Missouri, during the first half of the four-game road swing. Little led the way for USI in the victory with a career-high tying 29 points.
UMSL, who plays at McKendree University Thursday before its visit to Screaming Eagles Arena, finished its conference weekend by falling out of first in the GLVC standings after suffering a 72-71 loss at Truman State University. The Tritons, who are 20-4 overall and 11-3 in the GLVC after the loss, defeated USI to start the Eagles road trip, 73-68, in St. Louis two weeks ago. Caldwell led the Eagles in the loss with a season-high tying 18 points.