Eagles stumble in second half, fall 65-61

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University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball could not hold on in the second half and fell to Southwest Baptist University, 65-61, Saturday afternoon at Screaming Eagles Arena. USI goes to 7-3 overall and 2-2 in the GLVC, while SBU is 10-2 overall, 4-1 in the league.

The Eagles started slow, falling behind 7-2 early, but outscored the Bearcats over the final 14 minutes of the opening half to post a 29-19 lead at the intermission. USI junior forward Jacob Polakovich (Grand Rapids, Michigan) hit five-of-seven from the field to lead the Eagles with 10 points during the first 20 minutes.

The defense starred in the opening half as USI held SBU to 29.6 percent from the field (8-27) and 20 percent (2-10) from long range. The Eagles also scored 12 of their 29 first half points off of 15 Bearcat turnovers.

In the second half, the Bearcats turned the tables on the Eagles and used a 16-4 run to retake the lead, 35-33, with 13:17 to play. USI responded with its own 16-7 surge to get the lead back with 3:43 left, but SBU rebounded and outscored the Eagles, 13-6, in the final minutes to get the 65-61 victory.

Individually for the game, freshman guard Isaiah Swope (Newburgh, Indiana) led four Eagles in double-digits with a season-high 16 points. He was six-of-11 from the field, three-of-six from three-point range, and one-of-two from the stripe.

Sophomore guard Tyler Henry (Brooklyn, New York) followed with 11 points, while Polakovich and junior guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points each.

COMING UP FOR USI:
USI returns to the road next Saturday (January 15) when it travels to the University of Indianapolis for a 2:30 p.m. (CST) contest in Indianapolis, Indiana.

UIndy, which is slated to play McKendree University on January 13 before hosting the Eagles, has won six-straight on the way to a 10-3 record and a 4-1 league mark. The Greyhounds game with Lindenwood, which was scheduled for January 8, was canceled due to COVID. action.

The Eagles hold a 59-26 all-time series lead over the Greyhounds of the University of Indianapolis, dating back to the 1972-73 season. USI lost to UIndy at home, 68-62, in November and was led by junior forward Jelani Simmons, who had 14 points and seven rebounds.

The next USI game at Screaming Eagles Arena is January 17 when they host McKendree University for a 7:30 p.m. contest.

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