USI men’s basketball rolling in OVC play with four-game winning streak

USI men’s basketball rolling in OVC play with four-game winning streak
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:06 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Currently at the midway point of the Ohio Valley Conference schedule, the University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team continues to show it belongs among the NCAA Division I ranks.

USI (12-9, 5-3 OVC) has won four consecutive games in conference play, including the last two contests on the road. With that streak, the Screaming Eagles have surged into a tie for first place in the OVC standings.

Along the way, USI is proving all the doubters around the league wrong. Stan Gouard and his players are showing they can beat opponents in any number of ways, such as strong guard play, excellent outside shooting and a powerful post presence.

“We’re starting to find our niche. I feel like our guys, especially on the defensive end, are being more prideful in that area of the basketball court and our offense is kind of taking care of itself,” USI men’s basketball head coach Stan Gouard said. “You have guys like Isaiah Swope, who’s shooting 50% from [3-point range] in the league. Trevor Lakes goes off for seven [3-pointers], Thursday night against Lindenwood. Of course, Jacob [Polakovich] just continues to dominate from a rebounding standpoint, and then Jelani Simmons, you can’t forget about what he’s doing. We still have to keep our foot on the gas pedal, understanding how we got here.”

“We’re finally working together, playing a full 40 minutes on both ends of the floor, and we’re just looking good right now and I love our energy,” USI senior guard Jelani Simmons said. “Our confidence really has grown a lot this year. We just know our roles now and know how to play together.”

The Screaming Eagles will host Eastern Illinois on Thursday night.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.