Bearcats falter down the stretch against 16th-ranked Southern Indiana

February 1, 2014 

Special to the News-Democrat

The McKendree Bearcats could not maintain a halftime lead and ended up falling to Southern Indiana 90-74 on Saturday in Evansville, Ind.

McKendree shot 50 percent in the first half in scratching out a 42-41 lead at intermission, but Southern Indiana --ranked 16th in the latest NABC/NCAA Division II poll -- connected on nearly 61 percent of its attempts in the final 20 minutes to rally for the win.

Junior forward Logan Carson topped the 20-point mark for the second consecutive game as he led McKendree (8-10, 2-8 GLVC) with 22 points. Carson also added five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in the loss.

Junior forward Matt Holmes chipped in with 18 points and a team-leading eight rebounds for the Bearcats.

Senior guard Clinton Happe playing his final collegiate game in his hometown of Evansville, Ind., added 13 points while playing all 40 minutes.

Southern Indiana (16-3, 8-3 GLVC) grabbed the lead at the outset, stretching its margin to 19-11 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the half.

McKendree answered by scoring seven of the next eight points to pull within 20-18 midway through the period. Carson highlighted the run with a midcourt steal and dunk, followed by a 3-pointer at the 10:26 mark.

After the Screaming Eagles pushed the lead back to four points, Holmes hit three straight lay-ups to give McKendree its first lead at 26-24 with 6:51 left until halftime.

Southern Indiana regained the lead later in the period and took a 41-36 advantage following a pair of free throws by Aaron Nelson with 1:14 left in the period.

The Bearcats then scored the final six points of the frame to take its one-point lead into the locker room.

With the game clock winding down at the end of the half, junior guard Mike Springs drove down the lane and hit sophomore forward Matt Murphy with a pass in the left corner. Murphy buried a 3 with five seconds on the clock to provide the go-ahead basket for McKendree.

The teams traded leads in the early stages of the second half before McKendree took its final lead at 49-47 on a jumper by Happe with 16:24 to play.

Southern Indiana then took the lead for good with a 16-2 run that gave it a 63-51 advantage with 11:39 remaining.

The Screaming Eagles eventually pushed the margin to as many as 20 points down the stretch.

Orlando Rutledge poured in a game-high 28 points to lead Southern Indiana. Nelson registered a double-double with 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Women's

Southern Indiana 100,

McKendree 49

In Evansville, Ind., the Bearcats fell in their Great Lakes Valley Conference matchup at University of Southern Indiana.

Junior guard Caty Ponce led all players with 15 points in the loss, while sophomore guard Ashley Klass had her third double-digit scoring effort of the season with 11 points.

McKendree (7-11, 2-8 GLVC) trailed early 10-8, but battled back to cut the deficit to 17-12 with 14:31 left in the first half. Southern Indiana found its groove from there, shooting 10-of-14 from beyond the arc to jump out to a 53-25 lead at the break.

The Bearcats sank 5 of 11 shots from 3-point range in the second half, but were unable to find good scoring opportunities in the lane with only four point on the day in the paint.

Libby Ogden led Southern Indiana with 13 points, while Anna Hackert recorded a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

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