Men’s basketball travels to Drake for Sunday matinee


Aces take on Bulldogs at 3 p.m.

The first of two road trips to Iowa is set for this weekend when the University of Evansville men’s basketball team heads to Des Moines for a 3 p.m. game at Drake on Sunday afternoon.  ESPN3 and the Purple Aces Radio Network have the broadcast.


Setting the Scene

– UE heads to Des Moines to complete the season series against Drake

– The Knapp Center has not been an enjoyable place for the Purple Aces as they are 1-7 in their last eight games at the venue

– In its seven losses over that span, UE has trailed at the half each time by an average of 5.6 points while falling by 15.9 points per game over that span

– Evansville’s last win came in 2015-16 by a final of 80-74; it was also the only time UE led at halftime

– Home teams are 14-2 in the last 16 games between the schools


Last Time Out

– Facing a 22-point deficit in the first half, the Aces rallied to take a lead in the late moments of the second half before Loyola would hold on for the 73-66 win

– The Ramblers hit nine of their first ten shots and led by a score of 36-14 with 6:38 remaining in the opening 20 minutes; UE got within 11 at the break and continued to rally

– K.J. Riley’s 3-point play gave UE the lead with 5:26 remaining, but a 7-0 run by the Ramblers was the difference

– After allowing Loyola to shoot 62.1% in the first half, the UE defense clamped down, holding them to 32.1% in the second

– Riley scored 28 points and hit 12 of his 15 free throw tries while Sam Cunliffe chipped in 16 points


Close to a Milestone

– Senior K.J. Riley enters Sunday’s game with 984 points in his UE career

– He is 16 points away from becoming the 50th player in program history to score 1,000 in his career


Returning to form

– K.J. Riley is on an absolute roll for the Aces and had the best conference game of his Evansville career, scoring 28 points against Loyola

– Riley drew 10 fouls while converting 12 of his 15 free throw attempts

– Over the last three games, Riley has posted 20.7 PPG

– Riley stands at 127 free throw makes and 157 attempts on the season, ranking 11th and 23rd in the nation in those statistics, respectively

– Riley has connected on 39 of his last 45 attempts in his last eight games

– The Bronx native has scored 10+ points in his last six games; his longest streak of doing so came last season when he had 10 such outings in a row


Stepping Up

– Evansville’s top rebounder over the last five games has been Sam Cunliffe, who has averaged 6.0 caroms over that span

– Aside from that number, he has played 33 minutes per game and has recorded 13.3 points; he has seen the floor for at least 26 minutes in each of those contests and set his career mark with 38 versus Loyola

– Cunliffe has 4.8 rebounds per game in MVC outings after finishing with 3.0 in non-conference action

– He has shot 40% or higher in eight of the last 13 games with his most efficient effort coming at Indiana State where he was 5-of-7 from the field

Scouting the Opponent

– Drake enters Sunday’s match-up with a 16-10 record and are 6-7 in Valley action

– The Bulldogs are 1-4 over the last five games with their win coming against Bradley on Feb. 5 by a final of 73-60

– At the Knapp Center, Drake has gone 12-1, but on the road, they are 2-8

– Liam Robbins paces the Bulldogs with 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game; in the first meeting against UE, Robbins finished with game-highs in scoring (16) and boards (8)

– Behind a conference-leading 151 assists from Roman Penn, the Bulldogs rank 26th in the country with 15.6 helpers per game

– Penn has 41 more assists than anyone else in the MVC




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