Evansville Basketball falls at Drake


The University of Evansville men's basketball team fell by a final of 70-65 on Saturday at the Knapp Center.

D.J. Balentine was the top scorer for UE (16-6, 6-4 MVC), finishing with 17 points.  He hit 3 3-pointers.  Adam Wing notched 15.  Reed Timmer was the top scorer for Drake, finishing with 18.

Defense was the story early on as Evansville was 1-for-7 to begin the game as Jaylon Moore hit a pair of free throws to open the game before Egidijus Mockevicius hit a nice hook shot.  Freshman Reed Timmer hit the first two shots of the game for DU before Karl Madison gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the day at 6-4 five minutes into the contest.

Mockevicius halted the run with back-to-back buckets to tie the game up at 8-8.  Gary Ricks Jr. connected on the first triple of the day for DU was his bucket gave the Bulldogs a 4-of-5 start from the floor and an 11-8 advantage.  Their lead reached five points at 20-15 before the Aces were able to cut the gap to two at halftime, 29-27.

The Aces had a chance to retake the lead on a few occasions in the opening frame, but two missed front ends of a one-and-one saw the Bulldogs remain on top.  Timmer registered 11 first-half points, hitting 4 out of 6 shots as Drake hit 55% (11/20) of their attempts in the opening period.  Blake Simmons topped the Aces with seven tallies in the first 20 minutes.

Out of the half, Drake hit 3 of their first 4 shots to take their largest lead of the game at seven points (36-29).  D.J. Balentine, who went 1-of-7 in the first half, came out firing in the second, hitting his first two shots.  Adam Wing also lent a helping hand, scoring four-straight as the Aces got within one at 40-39 with 13 minutes left.

The run kept going for UE as Balentine gave the Aces their first lead since the 11:46 mark of the opening half.  His layup saw UE go up 41-40 with just over 12 minutes remaining.  That was part of a 14-1 stretch that saw Evansville open up its largest lead of the game at five points (49-44).

Drake responded with a 6-0 stretch as they hit 4 out of 5 attempts to go back on top 50-49 with just over five minutes left.  Jacob Enevold hit back-to-back layups for the Bulldogs.  They went back up by two points as Ricks hit his second trey of the game with four minutes left.  That put DU up 53-51.

After Duane Gibson tied it up at 53-53, Drake posted the next seven points to go up 60-53 with 1:27 left.  Evansville was unable to overcome that run as Drake held on for the victory.

UE continues to play on the road on Tuesday with a trip to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State in a 7 p.m. matchup.  Next Saturday, the Aces are back home to take on Bradley.  Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.  Call 812-488-ACES or visit the Carson Center or Ford Center ticket office to purchase seats for the game.

Provided by UE Sports Information Department