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SOUTHERN INDIANA: Eagles host showdown with Bellarmine Thursday

February 26, 2014


USI to honor seniors after Thursday's game
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The 25th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team hosts Bellarmine University Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. for Senior Night and the 2013-14 regular season finale. USI will honor its eight seniors following the game with Bellarmine.
Game coverage for the eighth week of GLVC action, including live stats, audio, and video links, is available at gousieagles.com. The USI games also can be heard on ESPN 106.7FM and WPSR 90.7FM.
In the first meeting of the season between USI and Bellarmine in Louisville, the Screaming Eagles won an exciting 68-66 overtime game at Bellarmine's Knights Hall. USI was led in the victory by senior forward Aaron Nelson (Chicago Heights, Illinois), who had a team-high 15 points, five coming the overtime period, and 19 rebounds.  
USI leads the all-time series with Bellarmine, 47-34, and is 10-2 versus the Knights since 2000 at the PAC.
The 2013-14 regular season finale also will determine seeding for both USI (20-5, 12-5 GLVC) and Bellarmine (20-5, 12-5 GLVC) in the upcoming Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. USI clinched a spot in the tournament two weeks ago, but will have to host a first round game at 3:15 p.m. Sunday for the right to advance to the conference quarterfinals at Evansville's Ford Center on March 7.
An Eagles victory on Thursday would secure the number six seed in the tournament and would pit USI against the tournament's 11th seed. A loss on Thursday would put the Eagles in the seventh spot against the 10th seed, while Bellarmine would be the sixth seed. 
USI's first round opponent in the GLVC Tournament also will be determined on Thursday. The opponent possibilities are the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri University of Science & Technology, William Jewell College, or Maryville University with percentage points separating the four teams.
USI Men's Basketball notes versus Bellarmine:

Eagles falls to 25th  in latest poll. The University of Southern Indiana fell to 25th in the 14th NABC/Division II poll of 2013-14. The Screaming Eagles have been ranked 165 of the last 188 Division II ranking weeks since 2000, including 81 weeks in the top 10 and four weeks at number one. The Eagles were joined in the top 25 by Drury University (fifth), the University of Indianapolis (ninth), Lewis University (18th), and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (24th).
Eagles and Nelson second in the nation in rebounding. The Screaming Eagles is second nationally in rebound margin with a 43.7-29.6 advantage over its opponents. Senior forward Aaron Nelson is second in the NCAA Division II and leads the GLVC with 12.9 rebounds per contest and fourth in total rebounds with 296.
Eagles ranked nationally in shooting. USI is ranked 10th nationally in total rebounds, 1092 rebounds; fourth in defensive rebounds; and 16th in field goal percentage, .500 percent (772-1545).
Nelson has opponents seeing double. Senior forward Aaron Nelson has set a new standard for double-doubles at USI. He set the record of 15-straight double-doubles earlier this year and has gone on to establish a new USI single-season record of 20 double-doubles. Nelson, currently, ranks second in the NCAA in double-doubles.
Thomas ranks all-time at USI in assists. Senior guard Lawrence Thomas is currently sixth all-time at USI with 343 career assists.
Wischmeier moving up the rebound list. Senior forward Taylor Wischmeier is rising on the USI all-time rebounding list and is tied for 12th with 487 career boards.
Eagles look to finish strong in February. USI hopes to finish strong in February by winning the regular season finale. The Eagles are 5-2 to date in February and have won four of their last five games.
USI splits final road trip. The Eagles split their final road trip of the year, falling at fourth-ranked University of Indianapolis and bouncing back to win at Saint Joseph's College.
Number 20 rings up for USI. The USI victory over Saint Joseph's marked the 21st time in last 22 years that the Eagles have reached the 20-win plateau.
USI's leaders last week. Senior forward Orlando Rutledge led the Eagles last week by averaging 22.0 points. Rutledge, who had a season-best 30 points at Saint Joseph's, was followed by senior forward Aaron Nelson, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds per contest, and junior guard Gavin Schumann, who posted 11.0 points per outing.
Thomas becoming a force. Senior guard Lawrence Thomas has been a force for the Eagles over the last 10 games, reaching double figures in nine of the 10 contest. Thomas is averaging 11.7 points during his last 10 starts, 1.2 points better than his season average.
Improved at the line. Junior forward Alex Marzette has been making progress at the free throw line. Marzette has gone from hitting 41.7 percent (5-12) in the non-conference portion of the schedule to 85.7 percent (12-14) in the month of February. Overall Marzette is hitting 61.5 percent (24-39). 
Bellarmine in 2013-14. The Knights of Bellarmine University are 20-5 overall and 12-5 in the GLVC after their win over fourth-ranked UIndy. Bellarmine has won seven of its last eight games.  

 NABC/Division II Rankings
(Feb. 25, 2014)
1. Metropolitan State, Colo. (15 first place votes)
2. Tarleton State, Texas (1 first place vote)
3. East Stroudsburg, Pa.
4. West Liberty, W.Va.
5. Drury, Mo.
6. Southern Connecticut State
7. California Baptist
8. South Carolina Aiken
9. Indianapolis, Ind.
10. Colorado School of Mines
11. Indiana, Pa.
12. Florida Southern
13. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn.
14. Cal State-San Bernardino
15. Minnesota State
16. Lake Superior State, Mich.
17. Cal Poly Pomona
18. Lewis, Ill.
19. Central Missouri
20. Seattle Pacific, Wash.
21. Montevallo, Ala.
22. Delta State, Miss.
23. Findlay, Ohio
24. Wisconsin-Parkside
25. Southern Indiana

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