Eagles add an exhibition game to men’s basketball schedule

Zane Clodfelter

The schedule for Rodney Watson and his Southern Indiana men’s basketball program has an addition. The Eagles added an exhibition contest against Saint Catharine College which will take place today at the Physical Activities Center (PAC). The game tips at 4 p.m. and is free to the public.

“We were looking for a game and really had trouble finding one because everyone was done (scheduling),” Watson said. “We had one (opening) to go, last year we played one right before our Christmas break.”

Saint Catharine is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member and currently competes in the Mid-South Conference. The Patriots will enter the exhibition contest with a 2-1 record, beating Concordia University in their most-recent outing on Nov. 9, by a final score of 94-57.

Watson said his coaching staff waited for their Division I exhibition schedule to be finalized before pursing another game to fill their last exhibition opening.

“Once we got the Indiana and Tennessee game(s), we kind of held onto it for a while with the way things were playing out,” Watson said. “They are a very good NAIA program.”

The long break between the Tennessee game Nov. 7 and the Kentucky Wesleyan contest Tuesday forced Watson to change the established routine of playing an additional exhibition game near Christmas break.

“There was too much of (a) gap between Tennessee and Kentucky Wesleyan,” Watson said. “We needed a game in the middle of that.”

Holiday tournaments also helped force the move of the game as well, with the Eagles scheduled to play on Thanksgiving weekend on campus in the Bill Joergens Classic. USI is also scheduled to play KWC on Dec. 21, in the return trip of its home-and-home series with the Panthers.

Despite the game being scheduled on short notice, Watson said the game and atmosphere will match that of a regular season game at the PAC.

“It will be game conditions. It’s very open,” Watson said.