EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE)
A stretch of two consecutive road games against ranked opponents begins on Sunday as the University of Evansville basketball team will take on #13 Wichita State on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Charles Koch Arena.
ESPNU will have live coverage of the game.
A 61-52 victory over Drake made it three wins in a row for the Purple Aces as they took down the Bulldogs on Tuesday night at the Ford Center. Evansville shot 60% in the first half and
47.6% for the game in earning the win.
D.J. Balentine finished with a game-high 24 points on an 8-of-16 day from the floor while three players totaled eight points apiece. An extremely efficient offense saw the Aces register 18 assists on their 20 made baskets.
For the third time in program history, Evansville is set to play back-to-back games versus ranked opponents as UE heads to #13 Wichita State on Sunday before playing at #11 UNI on Wednesday. The last instance of two ranked opponents in a row for UE was in December of 2012 when the Aces played at #19 Butler before taking on 12th-ranked Creighton.
In 1993, UE defeated 22nd-ranked Xavier in the MCC Championship before playing Florida State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament; the Seminoles were ranked 10th at the time.
The motion offense is based around movement and spreading the ball and that is exactly what the Aces have done in the last three games. UE has been credited with assists on an unbelievable 55 of its last 71 shots (77.5%).
In the home win over Drake, UE assisted on 18 out of 20 baskets, a season-best 90%. This season, when recording an assist on 70% or more of its makes, the Aces are a perfect 9-0. Evansville now ranks fifth in the nation with assists on 65% of its baskets. In its wins, UE has assisted on 67.8% of its makes while its losses have seen that number drop to 58.1%.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the Aces stand at 19-8 and are looking for their 20th regular-season win. If they can win one of the next three contests, UE would have 20 wins in the regular season for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. UE went 21-15 in 2012-13, but three of those victories came in the CIT.
Ranked 13th in the nation is Wichita State, who is 24-3 overall and 14-1 in the Valley. The lone league loss for the Shockers was a 70-54 game at UNI; the other losses in non-conference action came against Utah and George Washington. Ron Baker is the top scorer for WSU, posting 15.5 points per game; he is a 41.3% shooter from 3-point range.
Fred VanVleet checks in at 12 points per game along with an MVC-high 144 assists; he is one of two players in the league to have over 100 assists.