Eight jerseys to be retired when Aces play Drake on Saturday


One of the most highly anticipated events in recent memory is on tap on Saturday as the University of Evansville men’s basketball team welcomes Drake to the Ford Center for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.

At halftime, eight jerseys will be retired including: Hugh Ahlering, Brad Leaf, Marty Simmons, Scott Shreffler, Andy Elkins, Marcus Wilson, Arad McCutchan and Jim Crews.  The first 3,000 people in attendance will receive a replica banner commemorating the event.

UE ended a 3-game skid on Wednesday, earning a 75-65 road win at Valparaiso.  Dru Smith and Ryan Taylor combined to score 45 points as the team shot an unbelievable 93.5% (29-31) from the line.  The 75 points scored against the Crusaders was the most for UE in league play this year; it is the highest tally since UE put up 79 points against Midway. Smith and Taylor combined for 45 points, it was the highest combined scoring total for the Aces since Jaylon Brown (27 points) and Duane Gibson (20 points) posted 47 against Indiana State last year in Arch Madness.

Evansville scored 38 points in the first half and 37 in the second at Valpo, those are the top two offensive halves in road Valley play this year.  Entering Wednesday’s game, the Aces had lost 16 in a row when failing to shoot 40% from the field; that changed on Wednesday as UE shot 3.93% in the road win.

Dru Smith made 12 out of 13 free throws, both career highs, as the Aces earned a 75-65 win at Valparaiso on Wednesday.  Smith finished the game with 23 points, just two off of his career mark; he also played in his top total of 40 minutes.  It marked the second 23-point game in the last three efforts for the sophomore as he has reached double figures in 9 of the last 10 games.

In two games in the vicinity of his hometown of Gary, Ind., senior Ryan Taylor posted 21.5 points in road tilts at Loyola and Valparaiso.  He finished with 22 against the Crusaders on the way to his 10th 20-point game of the season; he has also reached double figures in all 15 of his games played.  Taylor holds the MVC scoring lead with 19.8 points per game while averaging a 35.1 minutes per contest.

Standing in second place in the league, Drake comes to Evansville with an overall mark of 12-10 and 6-3 in Valley play.  The Bulldogs dropped an 80-57 decision to league-leading Loyola on Wednesday.  Reed Timmer leads the squad with 18.1 points per game while shooting 88.7% from the line; he notched in with 10 points versus the Ramblers.  Nick McGlynn stands at 11.3 points and 5.2 boards while De’Antae McMurray & Graham Woodward average 10.9 and 10.2 points, respectively.

The series between UE and Drake has been dominated by home teams as of late; UE has won the last five at home while the Bulldogs are 7-1 in the last 8 games in Des Moines.