USI drops a heartbreaker to Truman, 75-72

USI drops a heartbreaker to Truman, 75-72
USI Basketball (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball lost a heartbreaker to #5 (D2SIDA)/#6 (NABC) Truman State University, 75-72, Monday afternoon at Screaming Eagles Arena. USI, which had its winning streak stopped at seven, sees its record to go 11-4 this season, while Truman ends the afternoon 15-1. 

The first half saw USI and Truman trading run for run in a hotly contested 20 minutes. The Eagles got the first two buckets of the game before the Bulldogs strung baskets together to take a 9-6 lead on a 7-2 run. 

USI got back into gear with an 8-0 run to lead 16-11 at the midway point of the half. Senior forward Josh Price led the way during the dash, scoring all eight of the points. 

The Bulldogs responded with a 14-3 surge to regain the lead and post their largest lead of the half (25-19). USI closed the gap before the intermission when senior guard/forward Clayton Hughes slammed home a thunderous dunk to cap off a 9-5 run that sent the Eagles into the locker room at halftime down, 30-28. 

The second half opened with Truman dropping in a quick six points to post its largest lead of the game, 36-28. USI erased the deficit in short fashion with a 9-0 run that saw junior forward Tyler Dancy put the Eagles into the lead with a layup in the lane off a pass from senior guard Mateo Rivera. 

Truman regained the momentum with an 11-3 run to take back the lead, 51-45, at the 11:49 mark of the second half. The Eagles rallied with a 9-3 run to tie the game, 54-54, when Hughes converted a four-point play after being fouled during a three-point bomb with 8:53 remaining. 

The final eight minutes would see the Eagles and Bulldogs trade leads change and the score tied a combined 12 times. Truman took the lead for good at the 1:06 mark on a bucket, 74-72, and would make clinch the 75-72 victory with a charity shot with seconds left on the clock. 

The Eagles, in the game, had three players in double-digits with Price leading the way with 19 points. Rivera followed with 15 points and career-high tying 11 assists, while Hughes rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points. 

USI returns to the road Thursday with the final two-game road swing of the 2020-21 calendar. The Eagles are slated to start the trip at Missouri University of Science & Technology (4-13) Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest and conclude the trip at Maryville University Saturday (7-10) at 3:15 p.m. 

The Eagles lead the all-time series with Missouri S&T, 18-3 overall and 17-1 in GLVC action since 2005. USI won the only meeting in 2019-20, 89-66, in Rolla, Missouri, and was led by an Emmanuel Little double-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds. USI also holds a commanding 12-2 all-time series lead over Maryville, 9-1 in GLVC play.

The Eagles won last year’s meeting 72-61 in St. Louis, Missouri, for their fourth-straight win over the Saints. Emmanuel Little and Rivera led the way in last year’s win with 24 points and 19 points, respectively.

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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