Kevin White, Director of Ahtletics Communication
KIRKSVILLE – The Truman State Men’s Basketball team returned home Sunday for their first game of the 2021 calendar year, taking on the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. As the favorite in the GLVC East, the Screaming Eagles came into Pershing Arena and gave their Truman their best shot, but the Bulldogs prevailed in a back and forth game, 76-69.
Out of the gates USI got off to a hot start, scoring ten of the first 12 points of the game. A three pointer by Masen Miller made it 12-6 USI, and then Hunter Strait and Miller made back to back shots to pull Truman within a bucket at 12-10. USI led the entire first half, but by the end of the half Truman was gaining momentum and a three pointer by Elijah Hazekamp made it 38-33 at half, in favor of USI.
At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs kept chipping away and would tie the game at 51 all with 12:16 to go with a layup from Dylan Peeters. At 9:31 Turner Scott gave Truman their first lead of the game at 55-53. It was the second basket of an 8-0 run that propelled the Bulldogs to a 59-53 advantage with 6:53 to go. Miller followed with a trey to give Truman an eight point edge at 62-54, but USI would not go down easy. The Screaming Eagles scored eight straight to tie the game back at 62, and then would take a three point lead to cap off an 11-0 run.
Peeters proceeded to make two foul shots and then another three from Miller tied it at 67 all with 1:38 to go. Josh Price gave USI a two point lead, but Truman closed the game on a 9-0 run, including a crucial three point play from Hazekamp to give the Bulldogs the hard fought victory.
Hazekamp led the Bulldogs with 16 points and seven rebounds. Scott dished out six more assists to maintain his season average and Miller drained three three pointers. Cade McKnight added 15 points, Miller and Peeters 13, and Strait also reached double figures with ten points. As a team Truman shot over 52% from the field and 90% from the foul line.
Truman will be back in action Wednesday night as they take on William Jewell at Pershing Arena, tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.