It has been just over 24 hours since the Purple Aces men’s basketball team completed an 85-77 win at Fresno State and the season continues in just over 24 hours as the University of Evansville welcomes Alabama A&M to the Ford Center for a 7 p.m. game today.
In Thursday’s victory over Norfolk State, D.J. Balentine reached the 2,000 point mark in his career, becoming just the fourth in program history and the 16th in Valley history to do so. He recorded 26 points on an 8-15 shooting day. He also had four triples, hit all six free throws and dished out five assists. In Sunday’s win at Fresno State, Balentine helped the Aces to a 10-2 record on the strength of a 23-point day where he hit 9 of his 18 attempts and had five more assists. For the week, he posted 24.5 points per game.
Junior Jaylon Brown is coming into his own this season and that culminated in him scoring a career-high of 17 points against Norfolk State. Brown hit 7 out of 11 shots to set his career mark. The accurate shooter was at his best against Fresno State in Sunday’s win, hitting four of his five shots to finish with 12 points.
In the first version of the MVC/Mountain West Challenge, Evansville lost its three contests, but played well in those games. With the resumption of it this year, the Aces earned their first win in the series in a tough road game at Fresno State. Shooting 55.6% in the second half, UE led by as many as 13 points in the win. The difference came after the halftime break. With the score tied at 40-40, Evansville scored the first ten points of the second half and never gave that lead up.
Alabama A&M comes to Evansville with a 4-3 mark. After beginning the season with a 4-game win streak, the Bulldogs have dropped their last three games, all on the road. Most recently, they fell by a final of 79-70 at Western Kentucky.
Ladarius Tabb has been the top scorer for the Bulldogs, checking in at 22.4 points per game. In the game at WKU, Tabb dropped 27 points in a 10-of-25 day from the floor. Nicholas West is next for Alabama A&M with 13.3 PPG.