KIRKSVILLE, MO. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball faltered in the second half and fell at seventh-ranked Truman State University, 76-69, Sunday afternoon in Kirksville, Missouri. USI sees its record to go 2-2 overall and in the GLVC this season, while Truman ends the afternoon 6-1 overall and in the league.
USI, which returned to the hardwood for the first time in nearly a month, showed little rust as they got off to a quick start, scoring the first five points of the game. The Eagles would race out to a 10-2 margin with three minutes gone in the contest when senior forward Emmanuel Little completed an old-fashion three-point play.
The Bulldogs rallied to pull to within one, 17-16, with 7:56 on the clock before the Eagles ignited on a 14-3 rally to re-extend the lead, 31-19. USI was a blistering five-of-seven from the field during the run as senior guard/forward Clayton Hughes led the offensive surge with a pair of three-point field goals.
The USI 12-point lead shrank again in the final minutes of the opening stanza as Truman used a 14-7 rally of its own to cut the Eagles’ advantage to five at halftime, 38-33. Hughes led the way offensively in the first half with 10 points and reaching double-digits for the first time this season.
The second half belonged to Truman as the Bulldogs would rally to outscore the Eagles, 43-31 in the final stanza to take the game. USI senior forward Josh Price scored the first bucket after halftime to put the Eagles up, 40-33, before Truman went on an 18-11 run to tie the contest, 51-51. USI went cold for five minutes, hitting only one-of-five from the field while Truman completed and 11-3 run to lead, 62-54, with 6:13 to play.
USI senior guard Mateo Rivera rallied the Eagles by hitting a pair three-point bombs and scored eight points in a 10-0 run to get the lead back, 64-62 with 3:14 to play. Rivera hit a free throw to give USI a 65-62 advantage with 2:01 left on the clock, the largest lead the Eagles would have in the final minutes.
The Eagles tried to hang on, leading for the final time, 69-68, with one minute to play, but the Bulldogs completed a 14-4 run in the final two minutes to get the victory.
In the scoring column, Rivera led four Eagles in double-digits with 17 points. The senior guard was five-of-13 from the field, three-of-seven from beyond the arc, and four-of-six from the striped.
Price followed with 10 points and saw his streak of three-straight double-doubles to start the year come to an end. Little and Hughes rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points each.
USI continues on the road Tuesday when the squad visits Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois, for a 7:30 p.m. tip. The Hawks saw their record go to 2-5 in the GLVC-only 2020-21 season after falling to the University of Indianapolis, 83-73, today at home.
The Eagles lead the all-time series with Quincy, 33-10 overall and 31-8 in league play since the Hawks joined the GLVC in 2012. USI won the only meeting in 2019-20, 84-67, at Screaming Eagles Arena.