PEORIA, Ill. (WFIE) - Junior Iyen Enaruna put forth an admirable effort, finishing with a career-high 17 points as the University of Evansville men’s basketball team fell into an early 15-3 hole and was unable to rebound with Bradley taking an 86-55 win on Sunday afternoon inside Carver Arena.
Enaruna knocked down five of his six attempts while hauling in seven rebounds to lead the Purple Aces (6-8, 4-4 MVC). Noah Frederking scored nine points. Bradley (9-4, 3-1 MVC) saw Ja’Shon Henry hit 10 of his 11 free throw tries on his way to a team-best 16 points.
“All you can do is prepare well, have a game plan and do all you can to execute it. Sometimes you run into a team that plays better than you and today, Bradley did that,” Aces head coach Todd Lickiter explained. “They were assertive on both ends and put us in a hole that we could not dig out of. What you do learn is that you have to keep playing good basketball in all circumstances.”
Bradley could not have scripted a better start as they hit six of their first nine shots on the way to a 15-3 lead. Six different players scored. Turnovers plagued UE in the early-going – after turning the ball over just nine times in Saturday’s opener, the Purple Aces had four turnovers in the opening five minutes. Evan Kuhlman got UE on the board with a triple that made it a 4-3 game before the Braves reeled off the next 11 points.
That would be a precursor of things to come as Bradley added to its lead as the period moved along. Shooting 56.7% from the field and 63.6% (7-11) from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes, the Braves held a 49-21 halftime lead. Their lead expanded to as many as 29 points at 47-18 before a 3-pointer by Trey Hall cut into the deficit in the final minute. Nine different BU players scored in the opening stanza, led by 10 points from Ja’Shon Henry.
Evansville showed its never-give-up attitude, cutting six points off of the halftime deficit in the first two minutes of the second half. Noah Frederking and Jawaun Newton hit back-to-back triples that made it a 51-29 game with 17:40 remaining, but the remainder of the game belonged to the Braves, who would not let the Aces get any closer as they would pull away for the 86-55 triumph.
Trey Hall had a solid day, scoring eight points. As a team, UE shot 34.7% from the field with the Braves checking in at 49.1%. Bradley finished with a 38-29 edge on the boards.
On Wednesday, the Aces will be back in action with a trip to Terre Haute to face Indiana State. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT.
Courtesy: UE Athletics