UE News and Notes for Jan. 14, 2013

—UE moved up from 131st in the NCAA’s first ratings percentage index to 78th with wins last week at Northern Iowa and against then-No. 23 Wichita State. Also, the Aces are second in the Missouri Valley, positioning themselves well for March.

—Much thanks to those aforementioned performances, UE earned 36 votes in this week’s Mid-Major Top 25, good for 29th. The Aces are also knocking on the door of the Non-BCS Top 25 and 17th in another mid-major poll.

—Heading into Wednesday’s UE-Drake game in Des Moines, Iowa, Bulldogs coach Mark Phelps discussed the matchup on today’s MVC teleconference. Drake snapped a four-game losing streak last weekend and enters 7-9 overall.

—UE women’s basketball sophomore Mallory Ladd has two notable streaks going on the court: five straight double-doubles and 37 made free throws in a row. Off it, Ladd earned her second straight MVC weekly honor, as the league named her its newcomer of the week on Monday.

—The UE women played their first game Sunday, a 71-65 win over Southern Illinois, without injured starters Meagan Collins and Laura Friday. More on when they may return — if they both do — here.

—Aces coach Oties Epps earned a commitment after the Southern Illinois victory from Hamilton Heights (Ind.) High School guard Dakota Weatherford. UE’s 2013 recruiting class now measures five players.

—Babe Kwasniak, UE signee Duane Gibson’s coach at Villa Angela-St. Joseph’s High School, noted Gibson’s stat line from a game on Saturday night:  9 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 blocks and 5 steals in just three quarters. Tweeted Kwasniak: “Too many times it’s all about scoring points in high school. It’s a blessing to coach a kid that does it all and just wants to win.”

—Evansville native Walter McCarty noticed the Aces’ win over Wichita State. He tweeted: “Congrats to the Purple Aces for beat 23rd ranked Wichita State #ue bring back the sleeves.” Some noted college basketball analysts weighed in on the upset too.

—The Aces just missed having to play against Wichita State senior Carl Hall, who coach Gregg Marshall said today has been cleared to play after injuring his thumb in December.

—And this isn’t all UE-related, but I wrote a story for Monday’s paper about the growing local sports scene — everything from the Ford Center’s impact to the Division II Elite Eight coming to town.