EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The King University men's basketball team continued their tough schedule early in the season as they traveled to take on 14th ranked University of Southern Indiana on Friday night at the Bill Joergens Memorial Classic. The Tornado kept the game close in the first half, but in the end, the Screaming Eagles' shooting and rebounding proved to be too much as they took the game 94-72.
The Tornado (2-3) came out and went blow-for-blow with the #14 team in the country as Logan Lyle gave King the early lead with a three-point basket nearly two minutes into the game. Lyle gave the lead back to King with another triple, and evened the score at 11 with another long range shot with just over 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
Southern Indiana (3-0) then scored seven straight points before Drew Standifer made back-to-back layups. After the Screaming Eagles stretched their lead to eight points, Lyle connected on his fourth three-point basket of the half to make the score 23-18 with nine minutes left in the first stanza.
King got within five points again twice following jump shots by Shamarae Watts and Standifer before the Screaming Eagles began to pull away. Their advantage sat a nine points, 35-26 at the final media timeout before Southern Indiana scored five quick points to earn a 14 point margin. The lead grew to as many as 16 with under minute to go before C.J. Good drilled a King's sixth three-point basket of the half to pull the Tornado within 45-32 at the break.
King shot 40.6 percent from the floor while making 30.0 percent of their three-point attempts while the Screaming Eagles shot 47.4 percent from the floor, including 44.4 percent from long range. Southern Indiana also outrebounded the Tornado 27-12 in the first half, including 11 offensive rebounds.
The Screaming Eagles started the second half on an 8-3 run to extend their lead to 53-35 before the Tornado started to comeback. Calvin Walker made a jump shot before Watts connected on a three-point basket. LeVeau then cut the King deficit to 54-43 with another triple with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Southern Indiana stretched their lead back to 17 before King got back within 14 points on a pair of occasions, but the Tornado couldn't get any closer the rest of the way as Southern Indiana's shooting proved to be too much. The Screaming Eagle lead grew to as many as 22 as Southern Indiana took the 94-72 win.
Southern Indiana shot 57.4 percent from the floor, including a 50.0 percent mark from three while King shot 44.6 percent from the floor and 32.5 percent from long range. The Screaming Eagles outrebounded King 45-22.
Lyle led King with 15 points, all coming from three-point range while LeVeau added 14 points. Watts, Standifer, and Crompton all chipped in with eight points while Michael Fortune came within one assist of his career-high, dishing out a season-high nine helpers.
The Tornado won't have long to think about the loss as they are in action again tomorrow against #3 Bellarmine University at the Bill Joergens Memorial Classic hosted by Southern Indiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. CT, 6:15 p.m. ET.