No. 8 USI storms back on No. 9 NKU
Thomas scores Eagles’ final six points including game-winner
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- No. 8 Southern Indiana’s Lawrence Thomas scored with 2.3 seconds remaining to lift the Screaming Eagles to a 69-68 victory against No. 9 Northern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. USI raised its record to 16-3 overall and 8-3 in the GLVC, while NKU fell to 15-4, 7-4 GLVC.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 2 West Liberty 102, Concord 98|
|No. 5 Lincoln Memorial 62, Wingate 58|
|No. 8 S. Indiana 69, No. 9 N. Kentucky 68|
|No. 12 Ala.-Huntsville 84, N. Alabama 77|
|No. 15 Christian Brothers 75, Delta St. 49|
|No. 16 Indiana (Pa.) 63, Slippery Rock 62|
|No. 21 UIndy 86, UW-Parkside 73|
|No. 22 West Georgia 65, West Alabama 47|
|Clayton State 74, No. 24 USC-Aiken 71|
Thomas led a USI rally that overcame a 12-point deficit with 3:43 to play by scoring eight of his game-high 17 points in the final three minutes. He dropped 12 in the second half going 5-8 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line.
Travis Jones also was a major contributor to the Eagles' game-winning rally, hitting back-to-back 3-point field goals with 3:05 and 1:45 to play. That cut the deficit to five and three points, setting the stage for Thomas who scored the Eagles' final six points.
The top-10 matchup did not start well for the Eagles, who shot just 36 percent from the field in the first half (9-25) and trailed by as many as 19 points during the first half. USI got the final two buckets and went into the locker room trailing 39-24.
Taylor Wischmeier hit back-to-back jumpers to start the second half and start an 18-6 run. The run put USI down by three, 47-44, with 11:47 to play.
The Norse rallied back and re-extended the margin to 13 points, 59-46. The margin would remain in double-digits until USI's final rally.
Thomas, who also had a game-high six assists, was joined in double-figures by Isaac McClure and Kenyon Smith with 12 points each. Smith paced the Eagles in the first half with 10 points, going 4-5 from the field with two 3-point field goals.
On the glass, USI out-rebounded the Norse, 30-23 and was led by Smith, who had a team-high six rebounds. The Eagles were much better from the field in the second half, shooting 62 percent (18-29), and finished the game at 50 percent (27-54).