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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 3:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: JQH Arena (11,000) -- Springfield, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: Evansville 11-2, MSU 5-6. Away Record: Evansville 2-7, MSU 1-8. Neutral Record: Evansville 0-0, MSU 0-2. Conference Record: Evansville 6-4, MSU 4-6. Series Record: MSU leads 30-27.
GAME NOTES: In a Missouri Valley Conference matchup, the Evansville Purple Aces travel to Springfield to face off against the Missouri State Bears at the JQH Arena.
Evansville is fresh off a 54-51 overtime win over Northern Iowa. It was the squad's second win in three games, with both victories coming at home. The Purple Aces however, have struggled on the road this year at a mere 2-7, including losses in three straight away games.
The Bears' last outing ended in defeat to the nationally-ranked Creighton, 91-77. It was the fifth loss in the past six games for MSU. Of those five wins, three have come by double-digits. Springfield has not been a safe haven for MSU, which is just 5-6 at JQH Arena this season.
Missouri State leads the all-time series, 30-27, but Evansville came out victorious in the last meeting, 62-59, in an overtime bout in January of last season.
Against UNI, Colt Ryan scored 23 points with nine assists for the Purple Aces. Although Ryan was the only player to score in double figures, Egidijus Mockevicius (13 rebounds, six blocks) and Troy Taylor (12 rebounds, nine points) each posted double-digit rebounding efforts. Ryan leads the team in scoring this season with 17.5 ppg. In conference play Ryan is averaging over 37 minutes a game and scoring 21.2 ppg. Ned Cox is the only other player averaging in double figures this season with 11.0 ppg.
Missouri State shot 54.7 percent from the field and 55.0 percent from 3-point range against Creighton, while four players scored in double figures, led by Gavin Thurman with 19 points. Dorrian Williams shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc as he scored 14 points and Marcus Marshall and Christian Kirk managed 10 points each. The Bears have only one player averaging in double figures on the season in Anthony Downing (14.5 ppg) although he is shooting just 41.0 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from long-range. Marshall is the second highest scorer on the team with 9.9 ppg but shoots 39.9 percent from the floor. MSU has no players that average five or more rebounds a game. The team scores only 61.0 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting overall.
Although Evansville has not been good on the road, the Purple Aces have the ability to score, an area the Bears struggle with. Ryan and Cox could both put points on the board, allowing Taylor to potentially have a huge rebounding day and giving his team even more chances on the offensive end.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Evansville 71, Missouri State 64
02/02 10:35:06 ET
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