TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WFIE) - Trailing by seven at the half, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team rallied to get within one in the second frame, but a pivotal 16-4 run by Indiana State helped them to take an 87-73 win over the Purple Aces on Wednesday at the Hulman Center.
Leading the Aces (8-12, 6-8 MVC) was Jawaun Newton, who posted 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He was 7-for-8 from inside the arc while hitting all four free throw attempts. Evan Kulhman converted four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points while Noah Frederking and Shamar Givance scored 11 and 10, respectively. Tyreke Key led Indiana State (13-8, 10-6 MVC) with 34 points. He his 14 shots and five triples.
“They were 0-for-3 from outside in the first half before hitting seven in the second half. I feel like we played their guys straight up and they got comfortable,” UE had coach Todd Lickliter said. “Give them credit, they shot 65%.”
Two free throws by Jawaun Newton gave Evansville its first lead of the day at 4-2 before a hot shooting start by Indiana State saw them knock down 8 of their first 12 attempts to take a 16-6 lead just over six minutes into the game. Samari Curtis got Evansville back on pace with his first triple of the game.
Curtis’ long ball helped the Aces claw their way back within a possession. Trailing 21-12, a 9-3 stretch saw Evansville make it a 24-21 game with 7:08 remaining in the half. Evan Kuhlman and Noah Frederking each hit triples. Indiana State countered by scoring eight of the next 10 points to push their lead back to nine at the 4:19 mark. Inside the final minute, Kuhlman had an outstanding feed to Frederking that saw UE get back within seven at the break – 39-32.
Frederking had eight in the first half to lead UE but a 7-for-9 showing in the first 20 minutes saw Tre Williams record 20. ISU shot 64.0% in the opening frame.
After the Sycamores regained a 9-point edge in the opening three minutes of the second half, Evansville utilized the outside shot to get right back in it. Kuhlman knocked down his third trey of the game before the senior found an open Jax Levitch, who converted his first long ball of the game to get his team back within a possession at 46-43.
It was the long ball that helped UE get even closer. Levitch drained another triple that made it a 54-53 game at the 11:53 mark. Just over a minute later, Frederking connected from outside to get his squad within one tally at 61-60. That is when Indiana State took control, converting six out of seven attempts to take their largest lead of the game at 77-64 inside of the 6-minute mark.
Evansville was unable to overcome the deficit as the Sycamores finished with the 87-73 victory. ISU shot 64.8% on the day with the Aces finishing at an even 50%.
This weekend, UE remains on the road, traveling to Drake for a 2-game series on Sunday and Monday. Game one on Sunday is set for a 3 p.m. tip in Des Moines before the second contest gets rolling at 6 p.m. on Feb. 22.
Courtesy: UE Athletics