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Aces basketball hopes for redemption in rematch with Illinois St.

Redbirds crushed UE in 38-point blowout on Friday
University of Evansville men's basketball program.
University of Evansville men's basketball program.(WFIE)
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 11:42 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Game two of a weekend home-and-home will see the University of Evansville men’s basketball team welcome Illinois State to the Ford Center for a 1 p.m. tip on Sunday. The MVC TV Network, ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network will have the coverage.

West Side Night

- One of the new traditions at the Ford Center continues on Sunday with the annual West Side Game

- Fans who mention “West Side Game” will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the contest for just $5 (locations determined by availability)

Last Time Out

- Another big second half by the opposition saw Illinois State turn a 44-34 lead at the half into a 94-56 win on Friday night inside Redbird Arena

- ISU shot 70.2% in the contest, the most this season by a Division I school versus another DI opponent

- Jawaun Newton and Blake Sisley finished with 10 points apiece...Newton paced the team with six caroms while Sisley reached double figures for the second time in his career, just behind his high of 12 at SEMO

- Preston Phillips tied his freshman scoring high with five points

Second Half Woes

- Huge second-half runs by the opposition has played a huge role over the last three contests

- In the first half, the Aces have held the opposing teams to 40-of-86 shooting (46.5%) while being within 12 points at the break in each game

- The second half has been a different story with the last three teams outscoring UE by a 140-69 margin in the final 20 minutes while hitting 58 out of 85 attempts (68.2%)

Taking Care of the Ball

- UE has excelled in taking care of the basketball, finishing with single digit turnovers in seven of the last 10 games

- Over those 10 outings, UE has turned the ball over just 89 times, an average of 8.9 per game - that tally is on pace with the best in the nation with Wisconsin currently averaging 8.4

- The 10-game streak has seen Evansville turn it over 11 times of less in each game

- That is a huge disparity from the first seven outings where UE committed 99 turnovers, an average of 14.1 per game

Taking Advantage

- One of the bright spots over the previous three contests has been the efficient free throw shooting by UE

- As a team, the Aces have hit 91.3% of their attempts from the line (21/23) while pushing the season mark to 70.8%

Make it 15

- For the 15th time in the last 16 games, Jawaun Newton reached double figures, tying for the team lead with 10 points in Friday’s contest at Illinois State

- His season mark of 14.1 points per game is tied with Shamar Givance for the team lead along with the 10th spot in the Valley

- Since opening the season with 5 points at Cincinnati, Newton has averaged 14.6 points with his career game coming against Rice where he scored 30 points on a 12-of-25 shooting effort

- An efficient shooter, Newton checks in at 44.4% on the season, but over the last three games he has finished at 13-of-37 (35.1%)

- Newton continues to rack up the rebounds a the top level of his career, pacing the squad with 5.9 per game; that average is even higher over the last nine games with his mark standing at 6.6

Making the Adjustment

- For the second time this season and first since a career-high of 12 points against Tennessee Tech, Blake Sisley finished in double figures with 10 points on Friday at Redbird Arena

- Sisley opened the season with a total of three points in his first six games, but his career game against TTU got him on track and he has posted an average of 5.4 PPG in his last seven contests

- Sisley has earned more playing time as the season has moved along, culminating in his top total of 24:33 against Drake...entering the EIU game, Sisley played an average of 4.2 minutes per game and had not seen the floor for more than 8 minutes in any contest...since then, he has played 12+ minutes in 8 out of 9 games

- Over the last seven outings, Sisley has drained 6 out of 12 attempts from outside

Matching His High

- Hitting two of his three field goal tries, Preston Phillips tied his freshman high of five points in the contest at Illinois State

- Phillips has started the last four games and a total of six contests on the season

- He had a strong performance at Bradley that saw him set his freshman marks in rebounds (9) and minutes played (30:32)

- In an interesting twist, Phillips was credited with 2+ rebounds in each of his first 13 games of the season, but he has not recorded a board over the last two contests

- Averaging 18.4 minutes per game, Phillips has played at least 15 minutes in six consecutive outings

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