Bears Earn 66-54 Win Over Aces At Ford Center
February 6, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
EVANSVILLE PRESS RELEASE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A 14-point, 10-rebound performance gave Egidijus Mockevicius his fourth double-double of the season, but Jarmar Gully finished with a game-high 18 points and 12 boards as Missouri State picked up a 66-54 win over the University of Evansville men's basketball team at the Ford Center on Wednesday evening.
Mockevicius finished 4-of-9 from the field to tally his fourth double-double of the season for the Aces (10-14, 3-8 MVC). He also blocked a season-high five shots. Blake Simmons finished the night with 12 points while D.J. Balentine made it 23 out of 24 games posting double figures with his 11.
It was Missouri State (16-7, 6-5 MVC) taking a quick 4-0 lead as the Aces opened the game 0-4 with a turnover. Adam Wing got the Aces on the board three minutes in before Blake Simmons tied it up with a bucket of his own. After MSU opened up an 11-6 lead, the Aces closed it to 13-10 before the Bears rallied to go up by a 30-15 margin, the largest of the game.
Over the final 5:13 of the half, Evansville made its run, hitting four of its last five attempts as they scored 12 out of the final 13 points of the half. The Bears missed the final five shots of the half while turning the ball over on four occasions.
Out of the break, Missouri State reeled off the first nine points of the period as they re-took a double digit lead at 40-27. MSU connected on four buckets in a row as Ron Mvouika capped it off with his second triple of the night. Evansville missed its first three shots of the while posting four turnovers before a Balentine jumper put the Aces on the board.
The lead for the Bears reached 14 at 46-32, but Mockevicius did his best to get the Aces rolling once again as he posted five points in a row en route to becoming the first UE player to reach double digits. His efforts spearheaded a 13-5 run as the Aces cut the gap to just six points at 51-45 inside of the 8-minute mark.
With momentum on the Aces side, Jarmar Gulley ended the rally with a pair of free throws before a missed shot put the ball back in the Bears' hands as Emmanuel Addo knocked down his lone three of the game to extend the lead back to 11 less than two minutes later. The Aces got within eight points in the final minute, but Missouri State hung on for the 66-54 win.
For the first time since January 7, 2011, the Aces failed to hit a long range shot, missing all 13 attempts against MSU. Coincidently, that game was also against Missouri State in Springfield.
Gulley led all players in scoring (18 points) and rebounds with 12. Mvouika also recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. MSU finished with a slight shooting advantage, hitting 40.4% of their shots while the Aces finished the night at 35.3%
Next up for the Aces is a road trip to Peoria, Ill. for the second meeting versus Bradley. In the first game, Evansville took a 66-60 win over the Braves at the Ford Center. After the trip, UE is back home to face Illinois State on Feb. 13 beginning at 7:05 p.m.