first_imgUE men improve to 10-0 at home with 84-65 win over Drake Balentine and Mockevicius lead the way for EvansvilleEVANSVILLE, Ind. – The senior duo of D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius combined to score 45 points as the Purple Aces men’s basketball team improved to 10-0 at home with an 84-65 victory over Drake at the Ford Center.Balentine hit 9 of his 20 attempts to tally 24 points; his efforts led all scorers. Mockevicius posted his first double-double in three games for the University of Evansville (15-3, 4-1 MVC). The native of Lithuania had 21 points on a 9-of-12 shooting night and recorded a game-high 12 rebounds.“I thought we played in spurts, we had some good runs throughout the game,” Aces head coach Marty Simmons said. “We played much better as the game went along. They (Drake) have some great offensive players who you have to play hard against and we were able to do so. We just need to put together a full 40 minutes.”Mislav Brzoja had a solid night, hitting five field goals and all four free throw attempts to register 15 points. Jaylon Brown hit double figures once again, hitting 5 out of 7 attempts to record 11. Adam Wing finished just shy of double digits with 9 points. He also hauled in five rebounds.A 6-0 stretch opened the night for the Purple Aces as three players gave UE the early lead. Drake quickly rallied back with four of their own. The Bulldogs would get within just one at 14-13 at the 11:10 mark as Reed Timmer scored his sixth point of the game.From there, the Aces finished the period on a 24-9 run. They started that rally off with 11 points in a row as Mislav Brzoja finished it up with a three. Drake was scoreless for almost six minutes before a Jacob Enevold bucket with 5:20 left in the half got them back on the board. They cut the gap to seven before Evansville rolled once again, taking a 38-22 lead into the locker room.“Our first half defense was pretty good giving up just 22 points,” Balentine said. “We wanted to come out early and set the tempo.”Mockevicius posted ten points in the half as the Aces shot 55.2%. They also held a 21-8 rebounding advantage at the break.Less than four minutes into the second half, an and-one by Timmer saw the Bulldogs cut the gap to just 11 at 42-31. Evansville responded with a 15-5 run of its own to take its largest lead of the game at 57-36. Balentine notched eight points in the stretch as UE knocked down four of its five attempts.Drake refused to give up, getting back within ten points with under 7 minutes on the clock as Billy Wampler hit the sixth triple of the night for his squad to make it a 68-58 game. That is as close as the Bulldogs would get as the Aces were able to pull away to go back up by 21 in the final minute before Drake hit the last bucket of the game for the final – 84-65.Sophomore Reed Timmer was the leader for Drake. He scored 19 points as he connected on 6 of his 9 attempts and was 6/7 from the charity stripe. Jacob Enevold and Billy Wampler registered 14 apiece.The Purple Aces had another great shooting day, hitting 32 of their 60 attempts to finish at 53.3%. After shooting 36% in the opening stanza, the Bulldogs finished the game at 43.4%.Evansville heads to Illinois State for a rare Friday evening MVC game. The Aces and Redbirds meet in an 8 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPN2. UE looks for its first win at Redbird Arena since 2011.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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