USI eyes strong finish to regular season

Eagles visit Bellarmine, host #15 UIndy

USI eyes strong finish to regular season
USI Basketball (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -24th-ranked University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball is in the final sprint to the finish of the 2019-20 regular season campaign with a pair of strong test ahead of them this week. The Screaming Eagles start this week’s action with their final GLVC visit to Bellarmine University Thursday for a 7 p.m. (CST) tip before hosting #15 (NABC) University of Indianapolis for Senior Day Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

Following Saturday’s Senior Day game versus UIndy, USI will celebrate the 1995 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 25th anniversary reunion.

The 1995 Eagles won USI’s first NCAA II national championship in Louisville, Kentucky, after overcoming a 22-point first half deficit to defeat the University of California-Riverside. The squad featured two-time NABC Division II Player of the Year Stan Gouard, now the head coach of the University of Indianapolis, and GLVC Player of the Year Chad Gilbert. Former USI Head Coach Bruce Pearl is tentatively scheduled to attend the post-game reception.

Game coverage for USI Men’s Basketball in 2019-20, including live stats, video, and audio broadcasts, is available at GoUSIEagles.com. The games also can be heard on ESPN 97.7FM and 95.7FM The Spin.

USI Men’s Basketball Week 15 Quick Notes:

USI moves into national rankings. USI moved back into the national rankings this week for the first time since December, entering the NABC Top 25 at number 24. The Eagles also received votes for the D2SIDA Top 25 poll.

Eagles win 7th-straight in victory over Lewis. USI won a tough up-and-down battle with Lewis University, 85-82, to win its seventh-straight game, the longest winning-streak of the season for the Screaming Eagles. The Eagles also have the longest current streak in the GLVC.

Price named GLVC Player of the Week. Junior forward Josh Price was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 21.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in the Eagles’ weekend sweep of University of Illinois Springfield on the road and Lewis University at home. The award is Price’s second of the season and the third of the year by the Eagles.

Double-doubles. Junior forward Emmanuel Little has a team-best nine double-doubles this season, followed by junior forward Josh Price with eight double-doubles.

USI in February. USI has been perfect in February (7-0), compared to a 6-4 mark in January. The Eagles have an 81.1-69.7 points per game advantage in February, compared to 74.3-73.5 points per game advantage last month. USI, also as a team, is shooting 49.0 percent from the field (2020-449), 37.5 percent from downtown (42-112), and is controlling the glass at a 41.0-29.3 rebound per game pace. In January, USI shot 43.7 percent (255-584), 35.2 percent from long range (62-176) and had a slim 38.1-35.5 lead on the glass. Junior forward Emmanuel Little leads the Eagles in scoring in February with 18.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

USI in the GLVC. In the GLVC Point Rating System despite the win versus Lewis, USI fell to third in the point standings. The top eight in the point standings qualify for the GLVC Tournament in March. The Eagles also remained in a tie for third in the GLVC standings.

USI vs. Bellarmine. USI leads the all-time series versus Bellarmine University, 52-45, after stumbling at home, 79-65, in January. USI was led by junior guard Mateo Rivera, who led three Eagles in double-digits with 14 points. Junior forward Emmanuel Little and senior guard Joe Laravie followed to round out the double-digit scorers with 12 points each.

Bellarmine in 2019-20. The Knights are 19-6 overall and 12-6 in the GLVC after winning its third-straight win in a 77-59 victory at Maryville University Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri.

USI vs. UIndy. USI leads the all-time series versus the University of Indianapolis, 58-23, after falling in the first meeting in January, 86-74, in Indianapolis. The Eagles finished the game with three players in double-digits with junior guard Mateo Rivera leading the way with 15 points. Junior guard/forward Clayton Hughes followed Rivera with 13 points, while Price rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.

UIndy in 2019-20. The Greyhounds, who host McKendree University Thursday before traveling to Evansville, enter this week’s action with a 21-5 overall record, 13-5 GLVC, and have won their last six contests. UIndy closed out a Missouri road trip by defeating Missouri University of Science & Technology, 92-76, Saturday.

NABC Division II Top 25 Poll

1. Northwest Missouri State

2. Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.)

3. West Texas A&M

4. UC San Diego

5. Florida Southern

6. Azusa Pacific (Calif.)

7. Indiana (Pa.)

8. Jefferson (Pa.)

9. Valdosta State (Ga.)

10. St. Edward’s (Texas)

11. Ferris State (Mich.)

12. St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.)

13. West Liberty (W.Va.)

14. Nova Southeastern (Fla.)

15. Indianapolis (Ind.)

16. Bridgeport (Conn.)

17. Rogers State (Okla.)

18. Missouri-St. Louis

19. UNC Pembroke

20. Alabama Huntsville

21. Northern State (S.D.)

22. Missouri Southern

23. Cal State San Bernardino

24. Southern Indiana

25. Dixie State (Utah)

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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