EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville men’s basketball team was mired in a seven-game losing streak during the late stretch of the regular season, getting swept by three of the top four teams in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.
The Purple Aces (9-15, 7-11 MVC) also lost the first game of a doubleheader to Missouri State on Saturday.
However, UE finished with a flourish Saturday in the team’s regular season finale, prevailing 72-63 to give the upperclassmen a proper send-off on Senior Day. This win effectively snapped the team’s losing skid, as well as provided much needed momentum heading into the MVC men’s basketball tournament.
UE head coach Todd Lickliter says he’s proud of his team for staying the course and never giving up.
“I didn’t doubt these guys - I know we ran into a tough stretch, but we kept fighting, kept paying attention,” Lickliter said. “If you’re a basketball fan, you got to love this team. They’re fun. It doesn’t always go their way, but they’re constantly trying to learn and grow and do the right thing. We just made a couple adjustments, and our guys just locked in and really paid attention and made it happen. We’re really proud of these guys to fight back and put themselves into position to be in the top half of the league.”
With Saturday’s win, Lickliter’s team clinched the No. 5 seed for “Arch Madness” in St. Louis this upcoming week. The Purple Aces are set to face off against fourth-seeded Indiana State on Friday at 2 p.m.
UE will need to win three consecutive games next weekend to qualify for the NCAA tournament.