UE men’s basketball ready for Sunday’s MVC opener

Aces will face So. Illinois on the road in back-to-back days

UE men’s basketball ready for Sunday’s MVC opener

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - With six non-conference games complete, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team has its sights set on the Missouri Valley Conference slate, which opens up on Sunday, December 27 with a 3 p.m. game at Southern Illinois. ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network will have the broadcast.

Conference Mini Series

- The 2020-21 MVC schedule will look different than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic

- Each school will face four Valley squads in a 2-game home series, four in a road series and a home-and-home with its travel partner

- Evansville begins at SIU on the 27th before wrapping up the series on the 28th with a 5 p.m. contest

Valley Opener

- Evansville opens its 27th season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in the weekend series at SIU

- Through its first 26 conference openers, UE is 11-15

- The last UE win in its Valley opener came on Jan. 2, 2019 when the Aces earned an 82-77 double overtime win over Drake

- Its last victory in its first league road tilt came in Jan. 2, 2016 with a 76-59 win at Missouri State

Last Time Out

- UE jumped out to an early 10-point lead on Dec. 21 versus Belmont, but the Bruins countered, going up by as many as 15 points before taking a 72-63 win

- In the second half, the Aces kept the deficit around a manageable 9-12 points before getting within five in the final minutes

- Playing his second game for the Aces, Samari Curtis scored a career-high 19 points as he went 3-4 from outside and 8-10 from the line

Series Notes

- Sunday will be the 131st meeting between the Aces and Salukis; the only team that UE has faced more is Indiana State (177 games)

- SIU has won four in a row in the series including a 70-53 win in Carbondale last year and a 64-60 overtime triumph at the Ford Center

- Evansville is 4-3 in its last seven trips to Carbondale

- Between 1/29/11 and 2/24/18, UE won 10 out of 15 meetings against SIU

Scouting the Opponent

- Southern Illinois has a perfect 6-0 record entering conference play after wrapping up the pre-conference slate on Monday with a 76-73 road win at Butler

- The Salukis also include wins over Murray State, North Dakota, SEMO and Quincy

- Sophomre Marcus Domask paces the Salukis with 17.7 PPG

- Domask is a 49.4% shooter from field and 88.5% from the free throw line

- Ben Harvey has recorded 14 points while shooting 55.1% on the season; he leads the Salukis with 5.7 rebounds

- Lance Jones is the third Saluki to average double figures; he checks in with 10.7 points and a team-best 26 assists

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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