Men fall out of GLVC tournament during first round
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The USI men’s basketball team lost a back and forth game Thursday at the Ford Center against Truman State University 69-68 in the quarterfinals of the GLVC Tournament.
There were 17 lead changes throughout the game and the game was tied 15 different times.
USI was leading the game with less than 10 seconds left when Truman’s Cody Myers, who lead all scorers with 33 points, scored what ended up being the game-winning point at the free throw line.
Junior Davis Carter inbounded the ball with 3 seconds left to sophomore Jacob Norman who called a timeout in front of the USI bench.
After the timeout, the ball went to sophomore Alex Stein who heaved up an off-target jumper as the game clock hit zero.
Stein, who was named first-team All-GLVC, said after the game the shot felt good leaving his hands and he thought it was going in.
“It’s devastating, we wanted to make a run in this tournament and now we can’t,” Stein said. “We really have to move on from this; we have more basketball left so we can’t dwell on this one.”
Stein said this wasn’t his best game and he acknowledged he was having an off-shooting night in which he finished 4-15.
Head coach Rodney Watson said the play for Stein was one the team worked on all week leading up to the game.
“With 1.6 it’s one catch, the clock starts on the catch, and you have one quick pass.” Watson said. “We have about four things we would like to do. We were looking for Jeril first, that was the first option. We put those guys in the spot to make a play, and they did the best they could.”
He said the game was not decided by Steins missed shot as time expired, but it was decided by smaller plays throughout the game like Zach Fischer, a player for Truman State who banked in a three-pointer in the first half.
Watson said Truman was “fortunate” to make big plays at the end of the game when USI wasn’t as fortunate.
“Meyers was the difference. He was very hard for us to guard off the dribble.” Watson said. “We have one more week to get that tightened up because everybody is going to look at that part.”
Watson said this was a different and more meaningful game than the last time the two teams met when USI won 111-89.
“Games from now on are going to have very short possessions; all the possessions are longer.” Watson said. “Even in Division I basketball you’re going to see 50 point games it’s not because people are cautious, it’s just every possession is really critical.”
USI plays the University of Findlay 11 a.m. on Saturday at Knights Hall in Louisville in the NCAA II Midwest Regional.
The men’s team is a three seed in the tournament.