Big first half boosts Eagles to 80-65 victory

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University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball used a big first half run to fly by Truman State University, 80-65, Thursday evening at the Physical Activities Center. The Screaming Eagles reach the midway point of the regular season with a 10-4 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the GLVC, while the Bulldogs are 8-7, 3-2 GLVC.

The Eagles spotted the Bulldogs a 9-2 lead to start the game, but exploded on a 22-0 run to take command during the opening half. USI, down 11-6 with 16:05 left in the opening half, exploded on a 22-0 run to race out to a 28-11 advantage. The Eagles hit a blistering eight-of-nine from the field, two-of-three from beyond the arc, and four-of-four from the stripe during the surge.

USI senior guard Alex Stein (Evansville, Indiana) led the Eagles’ run with six of his 20 first half points. Junior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell (Bowling Green, Kentucky), who joined Stein in first half double-digits with 11 points, and sophomore forward Emmanuel Little (Indianapolis, Indiana) followed Stein during the run with five and four points, respectively.

USI put the game on cruise control in the second half, extending the lead to as many as 21 points and never letting the margin dip below 15 points. The Eagles were a blistering 66.7 percent from the field during the first half (16-24), but cooled to 42.3 percent in the second half (11-26).

For the game, USI shot over 50 percent overall for the first time since the November 23 win over Lake Superior State University by hitting 54.0 percent (27-50) from the field. The Eagles also finished the game 43.8 percent from long range (7-16) and 61.3 percent from the line (19-31).

Stein added five points in the second half and concluded the game with 25 points to lead four Eagles in double-digits. He was a blistering nine-of-11 from the field, two-of-two from downtown, and five-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Caldwell and Little followed in the scoring column with 13 points each, while sophomore forward Josh Price (Indianapolis, Indiana) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points, nine coming in the second half.

USI won the battle on the glass, 38-27, and was led by junior forward Hugues Mbumba (Lumbumashi, Congo), who had a season-high eight rebounds.

USI concludes the homestand Saturday when Quincy University visits the PAC for a 3:15 p.m. game. The Hawk saw their record go to 7-8 overall and 1-4 in the GLVC after losing to top-ranked Bellarmine University, 99-58, tonight in Louisville, Kentucky.

USI leads the all-time series 31-10 versus Quincy University, 29-8 in GLVC action. The Eagles, who are 19-4 versus the Hawks all-time at the PAC, won last year’s match-up, 92-65. Little led the Eagles with 25 points, while sophomore guard Mateo Rivera (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Stein followed with 18 points and 17 points, respectively.

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