Aces look to build on 3-1 MVC mark this weekend

UE welcomes Illinois State

 Aces look to build on 3-1 MVC mark this weekend

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -Standing at 3-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play for the first time in three years, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team looks to continue its recent success this weekend when Illinois State comes to the Ford Center for a 2-game series.

The Aces and Redbirds face off on Saturday, January 9 and Sunday the 10th with both games starting at 1 p.m.  Saturday’s game will be on the MVC TV Network with Fox Sports Midwest carrying the game locally.  ESPN3 will have Sunday’s broadcast while the Purple Aces Radio Network will carry each and every game live.

Setting the Scene

- Evansville looks to keep rolling at home with a pair of games versus the Redbirds

- Last weekend, UE picked up two close victories over UNI, starting the weekend with a 65-61 win before completing the weekend with a 70-64 triumph

- Illinois State comes to town with a 3-5 mark and dropped their first two Valley games to Loyola; the Redbirds series versus Valparaiso last weekend was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Crusaders

- This will be just the second time since joining the league in 1994 that the Aces will have four consecutive home conference games; the only other time came in the first season in the league when UE hosted four MVC games in a row between 1/16/95 and 1/26/95

Last Time Out

- A career-high of 22 points from Shamar Givance helped the Aces finish off a 2-game sweep over UNI with a 70-64 win on Sunday inside the Ford Center

- Evansville led by as many as 16 points with 13:35 remaining, but the Panthers stormed back within a possession in the final minutes

- Givance was hit 6 of his 9 field goal tries, was 3-for-4 from outside and 7-of-8 from the line

- Evan Kuhlman scored 14 points while Jawaun Newton added 11

Newcomer of the Week

- Samari Curtis was named the MVC Newcomer of the Week on January 5

- Due to Christmas and New Year’s, the award covered the previous two weeks of play

- Curtis helped the Aces to a 3-1 MVC start while averaging 14.8 PPG including a career-high 29 points in game two at SIU

Playing his Best

- The top weekend of Evan Kuhlman’s career saw him average 17.5 points in the series against UNI

- He opened the weekend with a career-high 21 points as he hit 7 out of 14 attempts and four triples; he came back less than 24 hours later to post 14 points while knocking down four more triples

- Prior to the series, his top outing was a 17-point game at Drake last season

- For the season, Kuhlman is averaging 9.5 points per game

- He has hit a 3-pointer in 17 consecutive games; the streak began on Feb. 12, 2020 in a home game against Loyola

Scouting the Opponent

- Illinois State comes into the weekend series with a 3-5 overall mark while dropping their first two MVC games to Loyola on Dec. 27 and 28

- The Redbirds victories have come over UMass Lowell, Greenville and Chicago State

- DJ Horne paces the Redbirds with 14.3 points per game

- He has a team-high 10 steals and has hit 12 out of 13 free throw attempts

- Josiah Strong is just behind with 13.8 PPG; he leads ISU with 34 assists and is the only player to start all 8 games

- Dusan Mahorcic has 7.8 rebounds per game; with enough appearances, he would be second in the MVC

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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