Chatkevicius and Riley recognized as Aces prep for Arch Madness

Aces open play on Thursday against Illinois State

Chatkevicius and Riley recognized as Aces prep for Arch Madness

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -With the regular season complete, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team has its sights set on St. Louis where the Purple Aces will open up Arch Madness against Illinois State on Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m. The MVC TV Network, ESPN3 and the Purple Aces Radio Network presented by Learfield will have live coverage

On Wednesday, Aces players Dainius Chatkevicius and K.J. Riley were honored by the MVC. Chatkevicius was named to the All-Bench Team. The native of Lithuania played in 28 games, with 22 of those coming off the bench. He averaged 6.8 points per game and shot over 50% on the season. Chatkevicius is riding the top streak of his career into St. Louis.

Riley, a junior out of the Bronx, N.Y., led the Aces with 13.5 points per game in the regular season. Even more impressive – Riley ranks in the top 15 in the NCAA in free throw attempts and makes. He started all 31 games during the season and averaged 32.8 minutes per game.

Setting the Scene

- For the fifth time, the Aces head to St. Louis as the #10 seed and are pitted against the #7 seed Redbirds; UE has lost its first four games as the tenth seed

- Evansville has faced Illinois State five times at Arch Madness and has gone 0-4; the win for the Aces came in 2006 when they topped the 10-seed Redbirds as the no. 7 seed by a final of 52-45

- The Aces are 2-1 in their last three Thursday games in St. Louis

Last Time Out

- Evansville wrapped up the regular season with a win at Valparaiso on Saturday, defeating the Crusaders by a final of 65-63

- Four Aces finished in double figures, led by 21 from Marty Hill and 16 by K.J. Riley while Noah Frederking and John Hall posted 12 and 11 points, respectively

- Hill had a strong outing, going 4-7 from outside while hauling in five rebounds

- Riley reached double figures for the 23rd time in the last 26 games

- Frederking has notched 10+ points in consecutive games for the first time since December while Hall hit four field goals for the second time in the last ten games

- The Aces overcame a halftime deficit for the fifth time this season en route to their second road win of the year

Takeaways from Valparaiso

- UE halted a seven-game skid on Saturday, its longest losing streak since nine in a row in 2017

- The Aces have been extremely competitive in the second half as of late, outscoring the opposition by 2.4 points in the final 20 minutes in its last eight games; UE has tied or outscored the opponent in six of those games

- In the seven games before Valpo, the Aces averaged a 13.1-point deficit at the end of the first half; on Saturday, the Aces trailed by just one

Send Marty to Minneapolis

- Senior Marty Hill is one of 16 finalists for the Dark Horse Dunker Competition

- Four rounds of voting will take place with the winner participating in the dunk contest at the Final Four

- This year’s Final Four is in Hill’s home town of Minneapolis

Putting it together

- Marty Hill has recorded at least nine points in 16 out of the last 18 games and finished the regular season with 21 points while knocking down four triples at Valpo

- Hill is 6-for-13 from outside in the last two games and ranks 6th in the MVC shooting 41.4% from long range

- He has connected on at least one 3-pointer in 19 of the last 21 contests

King of the Hill

- Aces sophomore Noah Frederking had a solid week to finish up the regular season, posting 11 points against SIU and 12 at Valpo

- It was the first time he had back-to-back double figure games in the MVC this year; the last time he did so this season came against Wyoming and Albion in non-conference action this season

Scouting the Opponent

- Illinois State completed the regular season with a 16-15 mark overall and a 9-9 Valley record

- The Redbirds are the #7 seed at Arch Madness after finishing the season dropping six of their last eight games including a 72-63 loss at SIU on Saturday

- Milik Yarbrough and Phil Fayne pace the Redbirds with 16.8 and 15.8 points per game, respectively

- Yarborugh is their top rebounder with 7.0 per game while Fayne is shooting 54.7% on the season

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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