Men’s team soars past Stars

Chris Procacina

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Thirty seconds into the No. 16-ranked USI men’s basketball game, the Eagles found themselves tied with the University of Illinois Springfield (6-12, 2-8 GLVC), both teams exchanging a pair of free throws. On the ensuing possession, junior guard Austin Davis buried back-to-back 3-pointers followed by senior guard Lawrence Thomas hitting back-to-back 3-pointers.

From that moment on, the Eagles (15-3, 8-3 GLVC) never relinquished the lead beating Illinois Springfield 90-72.

Led by senior guard Lawrence Thomas’s game high 20 points, the Eagles continued a dominant offensive performance that included a 7-10 3-point barrage in the first half.

“We hit shots, things were going good for us,” Thomas said.

The Eagles’s offense shot 53.1 percent from the field, as well as 52.5 percent from 3-point range. Thomas made five out of his six attempts with 3-pointers.

USI Men’s Basketball Team Head Coach Rodney Watson said many games down the stretch of the season will not be this distant.

USI held a 20-point or more lead consistently throughout the game after six minutes into the second half.

“We know that teams are going to be giving us their best from here on out. It’s important we treat every game the same no matter who we are playing,” Watson said.

Senior forward Orlando Rutledge, who scored 18 points – his season’s high – and was a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, expressed the same belief as his coach.

“We’re right back at it at practice this week,” Rutledge said. “There is no dwelling on this game.”

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