Dainius Chatkevicius posts career night as Aces fall to #4 Duke


Aces back in action for MVC opener on Saturday

DURHAM, N.C. – Facing one of the top frontcourts in the nation, University of Evansville junior Dainius Chatkevicius registered a career-high 12 points as the Purple Aces men’s basketball team fell to 4th-ranked Duke University by a final of 104-40 inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Chatkevicius hit six shots and lead the team with five rebounds.  Next up for UE (10-3) was Noah Frederking, who finished with nine.

“They took us out of everything we wanted to do, we couldn’t do what we wanted tonight,” Aces head coach Marty Simmons said.  “We will use this as a learning opportunity to teach our players how to be more committed. It is a quick turnaround to face Illinois State on Saturday and we need to be ready.”

Four Blue Devils (12-1, 0-1 ACC) finished in double figures, led by Wendell Carter Jr., who notched a game-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting.  Marvin Bagley III had 18 points while Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. had 16 and 13 points, respectively.

UE notched the opening bucket of the game and held a 4-3 lead on a basket by K.J. Riley.  After Duke took a 5-4 lead, Blake Simmons put the Aces back in front with the squad’s first triple of the night making it a 7-5 game.

Duke took control from there, scoring 12 in a row to grab a 17-7 advantage.  The lead for the Blue Devils hovered around 10 points until the midway point of the first half.  Up 27-15 with just over 10 minutes on the clock, Duke wrapped up the half on a 31-3 run.  They converted on an unbelievable 67.7% of their attempts (21/31) in the half while knocking down 8 out of 11 free throws.

Chatkevicius led the team with 8 tallies in the opening period while Wendell Carter Jr. had 17.

In the opening three minutes of the second half, the Blue Devils added to the lead by reeling off the first 11 points.  Evan Kuhlman ended the UE drought with his first bucket of the night from outside.  Duke continued to hit from all parts of the floor, going up by a 78-21 margin with 15:21 on the clock.

Evansville never packed it in, fighting hard until the end.  Simmons and Marty Hill hit back-to-back triples to cut into the deficit, but the Blue Devils proved to be too much, taking the game by a final of 104-40.

For the game, Duke shot 61.9% while holding UE to 30%.

Missouri Valley Conference play begins for UE on Saturday as the Aces welcome Illinois State to the Ford Center for a 1 p.m. contest.  It is the annual West Side Game with vouchers for $5 tickets available at several locations across the west side of Evansville.