Men's basketball start season with a win

Lucas Snider

The USI men’s basketball team defeated Ohio Dominican University 71-48 on Sunday afternoon in the Physical Activities Center (PAC) to start of the season in the win column.

The highlight of the game was the offensive plays of senior guard Brandon Hogg. Hogg scored a game high and new career high 30 points on 11 of 19 shooting and five of nine from behind the arc.

“I put in a lot of hard work this summer and it paid off,” Hogg said.

“I had a subpar performance last week at Purdue so it was great to be able to come back and have strong performance here at home.”

Hogg had 17 points at halftime and was only eight points away from 25, which was his career high going into the game. It did not last long for Hogg to surpass that total, as he hit a three-point shot to tally 27 points midway through the second half.

Another highlight of the game was sophomore forward Taylor Wischmeier. Wischmeier was the second leading scoring for the Eagles with 12 points on six of 12 shooting from the field. Wischmeier, who played a much smaller role on last season’s team, has stepped up in the first two games of the year as the starting big man for USI.

“I put a lot of hard work in the offseason with Coach Tillman,” Wischmeier said. “He is one of the best assistance around.”

The Eagles were playing against a Ohio Dominican team that defeated Head Coach Rodney Watson’s former school Southern Illinois University by one point the day before.

“They set a lot of ball screens, so we wanted to make sure we had all five guys in front of the ball on defense,” head coach Rodney Watson said.

The game was close throughout the first half with the Eagles holding the lead for most of it. USI went into the half with a 10-point lead but came out in the second half and turned up the defensive pressure. The pressure paid off with the Eagles scoring 19 of its points off turnovers.

“Our reserve guys did an unbelievable job this week is practice of pushing our starters and holding our guys accountable,” Watson said.

The Eagles next game is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the PAC.