Men’s basketball team moves on in tournament

Chris Procacina

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After edging out Maryville University 86-78 last Sunday, the #20 ranked USI men’s basketball team will now take on Lewis University in the quarterfinal round of the GLVC Tournament.

Complimenting their win was two players being named to the GLVC all conference teams. Senior forward/ center Aaron Nelson claimed a share of the GLVC Player of the Year award with Truman State University senior forward Mike Carlson. Junior guard Gavin Schumann was named to the All-GLVC defensive team for the Eagles. Nelson is the first USI player to win player of the year since former University of Illinois transfer Jamar Smith in 2010.

USI is currently riding a three game win streak entering their game against Lewis University on Friday. In the last game between the two schools on Jan. 23 the Eagles fell 63-73 to the Flyers.

USI head coach Rodney Watson acknowledged that Lewis will be a challenging opponent.

“They’re a tough match-up. They have a good, all-conference guard in (Ryan) Jackson and (Julian) Lewis who is a forward,” Watson said.

Nelson, who had a team high 22 points and 21 rebounds in the win over Maryville, expects Lewis to focus on attempting to limit him offensively going into the Friday’s game.

“A lot of teams key in on me but we’ve got guys who can do a lot for us,” Nelson said. “It’s just a matter of me helping my team get involved, get them going, keeping them up.”

The Eagles will meet the Flyers at the Ford Center Friday at noon. The winner will advance to the semifinals hosted the following day and also located at the Ford Center.

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