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Aces Basketball Travels North To Terre Haute

February 19, 2014


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The longest rivalry in program history continues on Wednesday as the University of Evansville men's basketball team makes the quick trek north on Route 41 to take on Indiana State on Wednesday evening.

Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. ET at the Hulman Center and fans may also watch the game live on ESPN3.com

The Purple Aces put up a strong effort against Wichita State, getting within five points with five minutes remaining, but a 19-8 run to finish the day helped the No. 2 Shockers take an 84-68 win on Sunday. For the fourth game in a row, the trio of D.J. Balentine, Egidijus Mockevicius and
Blake Simmons finished in double figures; Mockevicius and Balentine finished with 19 points apiece.

Evansville finished with a 28-26 rebounding advantage marking the first time UE has outrebounded Wichita in eight games; it was a season low for the Shockers and marked just the third time this season they have been on the losing end of the rebounding battle.

It is hard to say that any 19-point day is quiet, but D.J. Balentine finished at that mark against Wichita State, going 5-17 while adding a 6-6 day from the charity stripe. He has posted double figures in 26 out of 27 games, the top such effort since Marcus Wilson finished in double figures in 28 out of 30 games in the 1997-98 season.

For the first time in 16 seasons, a UE player has registered six double-doubles as Egidijus
Mockevicius posted 19 points and 10 rebounds. The last player to record six was Chris
Hollender, who did so in 1997-98; Andy Elkins was the last player to surpass that tally as he had 9 in 1994-95. His 10 caroms helped him to take the lead by percentage points in the Valley with 8.0 rebounds per game; he pushed his league game average to 8.8/contest.

Indiana State has themselves in prime position entering the Missouri Valley Conference; sitting at 20-6 overall and 11-3 in league play, the Sycamores hold a four game lead in the race for second place in the league. Over the course of the season, ISU has outscored the opposition by an average of 5.1 points per game, second only behind Wichita State; part of that success can be attributed to their defense, they are tied for second in the MVC in turnover margin at
+1.08 while posting the third-best assist/ turnover ratio at 1.2.

Leading the way for Indiana State is senior Jake Odum, who scores 12.6 points while averaging 4.7 assists, second in the MVC; he had a strong outing in the first game against UE this season as he finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Five Sycamores average double digits as Manny Arop checks in with 11.6 and Khristian Smith is third with 11.3 PPG; Smith was the top scorer in the first game, tallying a game-high 27 points on the strength of an 11-of-13 day from the field.

Evansville's longest rivalry has seen the Sycamores take wins in 86 out of 161 games in a series that dates back to January 7, 1921. In Terre Haute, the Purple Aces have posted a 23-55 mark but have fallen in three of the last four trips to the Hulman Center. Since the 2010-11 season, Indiana State has won six out of seven meetings with the UE win coming in the form of an 84-68 triumph in the final home game of last season.

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