With trips to Cancun and New Mexico in the rearview mirror, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team returns home to face Oakland City on Saturday at 1 p.m.
In its last action, the Purple Aces dropped a 78-59 contest at New Mexico on Wednesday evening. K.J. Riley was the leading scorer against the Lobos, finishing with a career-high 13 points; Dru Smith chipped in ten.
With Ryan Taylor sidelined for up to six weeks with a foot injury, the door is open for several UE players to step up. At New Mexico, Riley did just that, leading the squad with 13 points while hitting 7 out of 10 free throws in 16 minutes of work. He checks in with 5.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 77.8% from the line on the season.
In his return to the team this year, Blake Simmons has been playing some of his best basketball. Simmons has scored at least nine points in five of the last six games and is shooting 46.9% from outside, just out of the MVC’s top ten. He has connected on an average of 2.1 triples per game, 7th in the league. Always dependable when he is on the floor, Simmons has played 35.7 minutes per game, ranking third in the conference.
Junior Marty Hill played his first game with the Aces on Wednesday, seeing the floor for 16 minutes while scoring four points and grabbing seven rebounds. Hill made an immediate impact, scoring on his very first possession with the Lobos.
Oakland City stands at 4-2 overall after falling at Ball State on Tuesday by a final score of 81-57. In that contest, Andrew Scott was the leading scorer, posting 18 points and six rebounds while Logan Worthington notched 13 tallies. The Mighty Oaks played extremely well in the opening 20 minutes against the Cardinals, trailing by just two at the half before BSU outscored them, 41-19, in the second half.