Aces put up admirable effort in loss to Illinois State - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Aces put up admirable effort in loss to Illinois State

(UE) (UE)
NORMAL, IL (WFIE) -

For the fourth game in a row, University of Evansville junior Ryan Taylor reached the 20-point mark as the Purple Aces men's basketball team dropped a 75-71 game to Illinois State on Saturday afternoon inside Redbird Arena.
 
Taylor had his best game of the season for Evansville (15-10, 5-7 MVC), completing the game with 32 points on 10-of-22 shooting and an impressive 8-12 day from outside.  Blake Simmons and Noah Frederking had nine points apiece while Dainius Chatkevicius posted eight points and a game and career high of 14 boards.Box Score (PDF)"Give Illinois State credit, they made the plays when they needed to," UE head coach Marty Simmons said.  "It came down to execution late in the game, but I am proud of our guys, they battled back and played hard.  They came here with a good mentality and never gave up."
 
Three Redbirds (13-11, 7-5 MVC) hit double figures as Phil Fayne, Milik Yarbrough and Matt Hein posted 13 apiece.  Fayne also had 10 rebounds.
 
Illinois State opened the game by scoring the first seven points of the day.  Capping the stretch was a trey from Madison Williams.  K.J. Riley got UE on the board with a bucket three minutes in, but a 2-for-10 start from the floor by the Aces helped ISU take a 15-4 lead.  They hit five of their first eight shots. 
 
Ryan Taylor's first triple of the game made it a 15-7 game at the 13:30 mark, but the early streak by the Redbirds continued when a Keyshawn Evans long ball marked the largest first-half lead at 25-12. 
 
Facing the early double-digit road deficit, the Aces worked their way back, using a 16-4 run to cut the deficit to a point at 29-28.  Duane Gibson made his way back onto the floor after missing the last four games and his basket with six minutes remaining cut the gap back into single digits.  Three minutes later, a Riley free throw made it a one-possession game before John Hall capped off the run with a tip-in as UE rallied all the way back within a point to make it a 29-28 game.
 
UE had a few chances to take the lead in the final minutes but the deficit remained at one as Illinois State took a 34-33 advantage into the break.
 
In the first possession of the second half, Taylor's fourth basket of the day gave UE its first lead of 35-34.  He connected on another a few seconds later to push the lead to 37-34.  Illinois State tied it up three minutes in on a triple by Taylor Bruninga.
 
Seven minutes into the final period, the game remained tied at 45-45.  That is when Illinois State took over, posting the next seven points including a Bruninga triple to open up a 52-45 lead at the midway point of the half.  The long ball helped UE get right back in it as back-to-back treys from Noah Frederking and Taylor cut the gap to one.
 
A Matt Hein triple with under eight minutes left pushed their lead back to six at 59-53.  With six minutes remaining, Blake Simmons cut the deficit to three, hitting his first 3-pointer of the day with the shot clock winding down.  Four in a row from the charity stripe by Milik Yarbrough pushed the lead back to seven with three minutes left, but consecutive triples by Taylor cut the ISU lead to just four.
 
Hanging onto a four-point lead, an and-one by ISU seemed to have them looking good, up 71-64, but the Aces had other ideas.  UE continued to battle to the buzzer as two ISU misses at the line turned into another trey by Taylor with his bucket getting Evansville within two points – 73-71.  That was as close as the game would get as the Redbirds finished the day with the 75-71 win.
 
ISU had a slight shooting advantage, finishing at 42.6% with UE shooting 41.4%.  Evansville outrebounded the Redbirds by a 39-37 final. 
 
New MVC member Valparaiso heads to the Ford Center on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. matchup.

Courtesy: University of Evansville Athletics

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