Aces hit the road this weekend

The Purple Aces men's basketball team will look for its second win in a row as it travels to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State on Saturday evening at Redbird Arena.

Tip is at 7 p.m. and the MVC Network will televise the game.  In Indiana, Fox Sports Plus will have the broadcast as Fox Sports Midwest will carry the Indiana Pacers game.  Fox Plus is available to fans with Time-Warner Evansville on Channel 2, 505 or 12.10, Time-Warner Newburgh on Channel 23 and on WOW Channel 103.

Evansville ended a slight two-game skid as they defeated Bradley by a 66-56 final on Wednesday evening at the Ford Center.  Bradley held a lead of 5-4 early in the first half before UE took control; the Braves got within a point at 51-50 in the second half before a 9-0 run by the Aces changed the game and helped UE gain its fifth league victory.

Senior Colt Ryan keeps moving up the all-time scoring chart for UE, with 19 points in the win over Bradley, he passed Ed Smallwood for third on the all-time list.  He is just 97 points away from becoming the third play to score 2,000 points at UE and now looks up at the No. 2 scorer in UE history, Marcus Wilson, who finished his UE career with 2,053 tallies.

For the first time in his young career, Egidijus Mockevicius finished with double-digit rebounds as he hauled in ten boards against Bradley, five came on the offensive side while another five were on the defensive end of the floor; he also blocked four shots while chipping in seven points.  Mockevicius has been seeing a lot more time on the floor since the beginning of MVC play; in non-conference action, the freshman played an average of 15.1minutes per game but has seen that go up to just over 19 minutes in league play.

Illinois State improved to 11-9 and 2-6 in the MVC with a 60-58 home win over Indiana State on Wednesday.  The Redbirds began league play by losing their first six games, but have won their last two games.  Their record is not indicative of their play as ISU lost its six league games by an average of just over 7 points per game and did not lose any by more than 12 points.

The Redbirds are a strong offensive squad, shooting 46.6% as a team, 35th in the country; they are even better inside the arc, draining 53.9% of their 2-point attempts.  An unselfish group, the Redbirds average 16 assists per game, a total that is 22nd in the nation.

MVC Player of the Year candidate Jackie Carmichael leads the Redbirds in scoring (17.9 PPG) and rebounding (9.2/game), his scoring output is second in the Valley while his efforts on the boards are top among MVC players.  Just behind Carmichael is Tyler Brown, who has notched 15.3 PPG; Brown has taken 121 3-pointers, one of the top totals in the league.  As a team, the Redbirds have hit 33.5% of their long-range shots while attempting 430 on the season; by comparison, Evansville has attempted 318 treys through its 20 games.

Following the trip to Normal, the Aces will return home for a Tuesday night contest against Northern Iowa.