Men’s basketball ready for Wednesday night contest against Drake

UE has won last seven home games against Bulldogs

Men’s basketball ready for Wednesday night contest against Drake

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -With several positives to take away from Saturday’s game against Missouri State, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team has its sights set on Wednesday’s 6 p.m. contest against Drake inside the Ford Center. Tickets are still available and fans out of town can follow via ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network.

Setting the Scene

- UE looks for its 8th consecutive home victory over the Bulldogs; last season, the Aces faced Drake in the MVC opener and finished the night with an 82-77 double overtime victory

- Home court advantage between the squads has been pivotal in recent years with the home team winning 14 of the last 15 contests; the only road team to pick up a win since February of 2012 was Evansville, who earned an 80-74 win at the Knapp Center in 2016

- Last year’s home win saw K.J. Riley post what was at the time a career high; he scored 25 points while hitting 13 out of 17 free throw tries

- In Saturday’s game against MSU, Evansville’s offense ended a 2-game stretch of scoring 44 points or fewer, finishing with 58 tallies

Last Time Out

- It was a tale of two halves on Saturday with the Aces holding a 35-30 halftime lead before Missouri State rallied back to outscore the Aces by a 38-23 total in the final 20 minutes to take a 68-58 win

- Ball control was a pivotal stat in the game - in the first half, UE recorded eight assists and three turnovers - the final 20 minutes saw the Aces credited with two helpers and 10 turnovers

- K.J. Riley had his best conference outing since Jan. 2, 2019 as he totaled 21 points; Riley was 7-of-14 from the field and knocked down all six free throw tries

Returning to Form

- In Saturday’s game against Missouri State, senior K.J. Riley recorded 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting while adding six free throws

- It marked Riley’s first 20-point game since scoring 36 points against Morgan State in November

- The final tally was Riley’s second-best conference game in his 3-year career; his top output was 25 points in last season’s MVC opener against Drake

- Riley continues to rank in the top 25 nationally in free throw makes and attempts while connecting on 27 out of 35 free throws in the last five games

Improving Each Day

- Sophomore Jawaun Newton chipped in a total of 12 rebounds over the last two games for the Aces

- In his first 15 games of the 2019-20 season, Newton posted a total of 30 boards, an average of 2.0 per game

- That average jumps to 6.0 over his last two outings. He had a career mark of seven rebounds at Indiana State with five coming on the offensive end

- Over his final four non-conference outings, Newton did not play more than 12 minutes but in his last five contests, Newton has played at least 14 minutes while averaging over 17 minutes

Scouting the Opponent

- Drake owns a 13-6 record through their first 19 games and have split their first six conference games with a 3-3 mark

- The Bulldogs excel at home, posting a perfect 10-0 record, but are 1-5 in road games

- Liam Robbins paces the team with 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 50 blocked shots on the season

- Sunday’s game at Southern Illinois saw Robbins add 17 points and 10 rebounds, both team bests, in a 66-49 loss at the Banterra Center

- Roman Penn averages 11.7 points and a team-high 114 assists; he is a 51.6% shooter

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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