The University of Evansville women’s basketball team (6-7, 1-1) will hold their Missouri Valley Conference home opener on Thursday night when the Purple Aces play the Loyola Ramblers. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.
UE played Wichita State close on the road in their last game on Sunday before the Shockers pulled away in the final minute for a 54-44 win. The Aces trailed 46-44 with 50 seconds left, but Wichita State ended the game on an 8-0 run to claim the win. Forward Mallory Ladd tallied a team-high 15 points and guard Sara Dickey added another 14 for the Aces.
With a win, Evansville will be 5-0 at home for the first time since 2006.
On the stat sheet, UE’s Dickey (17.5 points per game) and Ladd (15.2) are both averaging double figures. Forward Sasha Robinson is securing 8.0 rebounds per game, a team-high. Ladd also has the most assists (40) and blocks (10) of anyone on the Aces roster. Guard Taloni Reese is creating a team-best 1.7 steals per game. Evansville is averaging 64.8 points and 32.7 rebounds per game. The Aces make 41.4% of their field goals, 35.5% of threes, and 64.8% at the free throw line.
Loyola (2-11, 0-2) enters this contest on an eight-game losing streak including back to back defeats at home last weekend against Drake on Friday and against Northern Iowa on Sunday.
Statistically, Loyola has three players scoring double figure points per game including forward Taylor Manuel (15.0), guard Taylor Johnson (13.0) and forward Simone Law (12.0). Manuel also has a team-best 9.2 rebounds per game. Guard Becca Smith leads all Ramblers with 28 assists and 26 steals. Loyola is averaging 53.2 points and 38.0 rebounds per game. The Ramblers shoot 33.5% from the floor, 24.5% beyond the arc, and 61.2% at the free throw line.
Evansville is projected to finish fourth in the MVC preseason poll, their highest projection since 2008-2009. Dickey was also named to the preseason All-Conference team. The Aces are guided by fourth year head coach Oties Epps.
Loyola was voted to place seventh in the MVC preseason poll but did not have any players named to the preseason team. The Ramblers are led by second year head coach Sheryl Swoopes.
Loyola leads the all-time series 17-9 against UE but the Aces won both meetings last season.
Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 812-488-ACES (2237), in person at either the Carson Center or Ford Center ticket office, or online via Ticketmaster.com.