Thomas lights up the Stars in Eagles' win
January 31, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
USI PRESS RELEASE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana senior guard Lawrence Thomas (Springfield, Illinois) hit five of six three-point field goal attempts and posted a game-high 20 points to lead the 16th-ranked Screaming Eagles to a 90-72 victory over the University of Illinois Springfield Thursday evening at the Physical Activities Center. USI rises to 15-3 overall and 7-3 in the GLVC, while UIS falls to 6-12 overall, 2-8 GLVC.
Thomas scored 12 of his season-high 20 points in the first half when he was four-of-five from the field and a perfect four-of-four from long range. The senior guard followed his first half performance with eight points in the final half, hitting three-of-four from outside and one-of-two from beyond the arc.
Thomas was followed in the scoring column by senior forward Orlando Rutledge (Louisville, Kentucky), who also matched a season-high with 18 points, and senior center Aaron Nelson (Chicago Heights, Illinois), who dropped in 11 points to round out the double-figure scorers.
Nelson also dished out a career-high and tied for a game-high with seven assists.
After Illinois Springfield posted 2-0 and 4-3 leads, USI took the lead and never looked back on the strength of a 16-3 run. The Eagles followed the run by methodically extending the first half lead to as many as 19 points, 50-31, before closing out the first 20 minutes with a 16-point, 50-34, advantage.
USI was able to put the game on cruise control through the second half, pushing its lead to 28 points, 70-42, with 11:29 to play. Illinois Springfield was able to cut the margin to less 20 points only once after the 13:29 mark of the second stanza in the final score, 90-72.
As a team, the Eagles won the rebounding battle, 40-24, and shot 52.5 percent from the field (31-59). The home squad also was 52.6 percent from long range (10-19) and recorded its best game of the season at the free throw line, hitting 90 percent (18-20) from the charity stripe.
USI concludes its short two-game homestand Saturday at 3:15 p.m. when it hosts McKendree University. The Bearcats fell to 8-9 overall and 2-7 in the GLVC after losing at Bellarmine University, 97-77, tonight in Louisville, Kentucky.