USI Men’s Basketball hits the road for two in the OVC

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:59 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball looks to take last week’s momentum on the road when it visits Lindenwood University Thursday and Ohio Valley Conference front running Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Saturday. Thursday’s game with Lindenwood in St. Charles, Missouri, is set to start at 8 p.m., while Saturday’s tip against SIUE in Edwardsville, Illinois, is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. 

USI Men’s Basketball (10-9, 3-3 OVC) is coming off a 2-0 week in conference play after rebounding for a pair of wins, defeating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 74-67, and the University of Tennessee at Martin, 80-66. Sophomore guard Isaiah Swope (Newburgh, Indiana) led the Eagles last week with 20.0 points per game versus UT Martin and Little Rock. Senior forward Jacob Polakovich (Grand Rapids, Michigan) followed Swope in the scoring column and averaged a double-double with 17.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.

Swope became the third USI scoring leader this season with a team-best 13.6 points per game, followed by graduate forward Trevor Lakes (Lebanon, Indiana), who is posting 13.2 points per game. Senior guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio) is third with 12.7 points per outing, while Polakovich rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.9 points per outing and is posting a team-best 11.5 rebounds per game. 

The Lindenwood Lions (7-12, 2-4 OVC) are 2-3 in the last five games after falling to Southeast Missouri State University, 94-71, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 68-58, last week. Lindenwood senior guard Chris Childs leads the Lions and four players in double-figures this season with 14.4 points per game. 

USI leads the series with Lindenwood, 4-0, after the Lions joined the GLVC in 2019-20. The Eagles swept last season’s GLVC games with Simmons leading way with 19 points per game. 

SIUE (14-5, 5-1 OVC) leads the OVC by winning five of the first six conference games this year and currently tied for the OVC’s best winning streak at four games. The Cougars are led in 2022-23 by sophomore guard Ray’Sean Taylor, who is posting 13.9 points per game. 

USI leads the all-time series that started in 1971-72, 44-21.  The Eagles also lead the series, 15-12, in games played at SIUE. 

SIUE has won the last two meetings, including the first game in OVC action, 69-62, at Screaming Eagles Arena. SIUE sophomore guard Damarco Minor led all scorers with 27 points, while USI’s Swope led the Eagles with 19 points. 

All 2022-23 games are normally streamed on ESPN+ in addition to being heard on ESPN 97.7FM and 95.7FM The Spin.