DES MOINES, IA. (WFIE) - Drake shot 78.3% in the first half before extending their lead in the second frame to defeat the University of Evansville men’s basketball team by a final of 85-71 on Sunday afternoon at the Knapp Center.
Shamar Givance had another outstanding effort for the Purple Aces (8-13, 6-9 MVC), leading the team with 19 points on a 9-of-14 shooting day. Evan Kuhlman and Iyen Enaruna registered 13 points apiece. Kuhlman knocked down five of his seven attempts while Enaruna finished 6-of-11. Leading the Bulldogs (22-2, 13-2 MVC) was Joseph Yesufu, who hit 12 out of 14 attempts to score 32 points. D.J. Wilkins added 13 tallies.
Drake knocked down its first four shots of the day to take an 8-5 advantage in the opening minutes. At the 15:40 mark, Evan Kuhlman hit a long jumper that gave the Aces their first lead. Shamar Givance continued a 4-for-5 start that pushed Evansville’s lead to 11-8. The Bulldogs countered with a 12-2 stretch that pushed their lead to 20-13 eight minutes in.
In a half that saw them shoot an unbelievable 78.3%, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 20- points – 47-27 – in the final minute. Kuhlman, who scored 13 points in the first half, hit a triple at the buzzer that made it a 17-point game at the break. Joe Yesufu registered 16 first-half points going 6-for-7 from the field as the Bulldogs hit 18 out of 23 attempts and six of their eight outside tries in the opening frame.
The lead for the Bulldogs was extended to 22 points thanks to a 5-0 stretch to open the second half before a triple from Noah Frederking cut the lead back under 20. Drake rebounded to go up by as many as 31 points (79-48) with 8:30 remaining. The Aces made a late run, outscoring the Bulldogs by a 17-4 margin in the final minutes to close it to an 85-71 final. UE’s late rally saw them lift their final shooting tally to 51.7%. Drake finished the game at 65.4%.
Jawaun Newton led the Aces with a game-high 8 rebounds. It tied his career mark, which was set twice before. Samari Curtis scored 11 points on an efficient 4-for-6 game.
Tomorrow evening, the teams meet up once again in a 6 p.m. contest at the Knapp Center.