UE News and Notes for Jan. 20, 2013

—Much thanks to Butler’s win over Gonzaga and Wichita State’s victory over Creighton, UE remained in the ratings percentage index top 100 after Saturday’s loss at Indiana State.   In fact, half the Missouri Valley Conference is in the top 100: Wichita State (15th), Creighton (24th), Indiana State (50th), Northern Iowa (87) and UE (99th).

—The Aces’ next opponent, Bradley, used a buzzer-beater from Walt Lemon Jr. on Saturday to shock Missouri State 69-66. One of the most improved teams from last season by record, the Braves (12-7, 4-3 MVC) come to the Ford Center Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. tip.

—After this weekend’s five MVC games, UE enters with the same league record (4-3) as Bradley but behind the fourth-places Braves, who have a better overall record.

—MVC coaches, including UE’s Marty Simmons and Bradley’s Geno Ford, will speak Monday on a regularly scheduled league teleconference which starts at 11 a.m. and streams on Valley Live.

—UE signee Blake Simmons, son of the Aces coach Simmons, scored a career-high 40 points and added eight rebounds Friday in Castle High School’s win over Vincennes Lincoln. The forward went 14 of 21 from the field and hit 4 of his 6 3-pointers.

—UE’s women continued rolling Saturday (still feels weird to type that so soon after an eight-game losing streak). The Aces held off Indiana State in a thriller to secure the program’s longest winning streak since it surged through the 2009 MVC Tournament and made the NCAAs.

—Having won four of their last five, the UE women (4-1) are third in the MVC standings behind Wichita State (4-0) and Creighton (4-1). The preseason favorite Bluejays have a better overall record than the Aces.

—The UE women’s program struck again on the recruiting trail over the weekend, earning a commit from Inkster (Mich.) High School guard Pairs McLeod. Coach Oties Epps’ 2013 class now measures six members.

—UE women’s signee Sara Dickey poured in a school-record 43 points last Wednesday — including 19 of her team’s 23 in the first quarter — as Riverton Parke High School beat North Central.

—Using its “Wildcard” selection process (essentially, wait-and-see approach) ESPN selected UE’s home game Feb. 10 as a 7 p.m. tip against Drake for an ESPN U broadcast over a Northern Iowa-Bradley matchup that same day. The Aces’ season-ending game against Indiana State on March 2 is also wildcard-eligible. Games not selected still air on ESPN3.com.

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