Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
ROMEOVILLE – Lewis’ men’s basketball team saw its 2018-19 season come to close with a 62-61 loss at the buzzer against Southern Indiana on Sunday night at Neil Carey Arena. The Flyers finish the season with a 25-6 record while the Screaming Eagles improve to 24-8 and will face Bellarmine on Tuesday night in the Midwest Regional Championship game at 7 p.m.
Lewis shot 48 percent from the field in the first and led by as many as 10 with 7:32 left in the stanza but were hurt by turnovers as they committed 13 of them which allowed USI to get to within 30-27 at the break.
The Screaming Eagles tied the score a couple of times early in the second half but the Flyers went on a 16-2 run over a 4:30 stretch to build its largest lead of the game at 49-35 on a jumper by Frank Vukaj (Davison, Mich./Davison)with less than 14 minutes to play. Vukaj, Anthony D’Avanzo (Harwood Heights, Ill./Notre Dame)and Kendale McCullum (Elgin, Ill./Elgin Larkin)combined to score 14 of the 16 points in the run.
After a timeout, Southern Indiana switched defenses and held Lewis to just one point and no field goals over the next nine minutes. The Screaming Eagles began to slowly chip away and eventually took the lead on a layup by Mateo Rivera with 5:40 remaining.
Adam Pischke (Cary, Ill./Marian Central Catholic)gave the Flyers the lead back with a jumper almost a minute later but Jacob Norman answered on the ensuing possession to put USI back up 53-52. Emmanuel Little made it a three-point game with a layup with 3:32 left.
McCullum brought Lewis to within one with two free throws but the Eagles scored three straight to build their largest lead of the night at 58-54 on a jumper by Kobe Caldwell.
Donovan Oliver (Kewanee, Ill./Kewanee)brought the Flyers back to within two with a pair of free throws with 1:26 to play. The Flyers then got a stop on the defensive end and Pischke hit a three-pointer from near the top of the key to put Lewis up 59-58 with 0:36 to go.
Caldwell answered on the other end with a layup with 0:16 left and Lewis burned one of its two remaining timeouts. Out of the timeout, Pischke found D’Avanzo who hit an 18-foot jumper with 5.6 left to put the Flyers up 61-60.
After a timeout, Rivera drove the length of the floor and hit a shot over the outstretched arm of D’Avanzo off the glass as the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Lewis finished the game shooting 48 percent (22-for-46) from the field and was 14-of-15 at the foul line but turned the ball over 19 times, six in the second half, and outrebounded USI 36-to-30. D’Avanzo led three Flyers in double figures with 17 points while Pischke added 14 and McCullum finished with 12.
The Screaming Eagles were held to 38 percent shooting (23-for-60) from the floor in the contest, including 2-of-11 from three and shot 70 percent at the foul line. They outscored Lewis 34-to-22 on points in the paint and 8-to-2 in second chance points. Little, Rivera and Alex Stein led the way with 12 points each while Caldwell and Norman chipped in with 10 apiece.