Game Day: Drake-UE

Drake Bulldogs (11-12, 5-7) at Evansville Purple Aces (13-11, 6-6)

Missouri Valley Conference Game 13/18

Game Time: 7:05 p.m. Sunday

Location: Ford Center

Broadcast: WUEV 91.5 FM, ESPN U

Live Coverage: Follow on Twitter (@ECP_Lintner)

Game Notes: Click here for UE and here for Drake

Spread: UE -8 at Vegas Insider

UE’s Probable Starters: G Troy Taylor, G Ned Cox, F Colt Ryan, F Lewis Jones, C Egidijus Mockevicius

Drake’s Probable Starters: G Chris Hines, G Richard Carter, F Ben Simons, F Jordan Clarke, C Seth VanDeest

Last Meeting: Drake beat UE 83-69 on Jan. 16 at the Bulldogs’ Knapp Center. The loss started the Aces’ current streak of five straight MVC road defeats.

Series History: The teams are an even 19-19 in the all-time series, though UE owns a 10-7 advantage when playing on its home court. Drake has won four in a row.

Story Clippings:

Feb. 9: Foes getting tougher now with UE

Feb. 9: Game by game, playing time up for grabs at Drake

Feb. 8: Look for Aces, fans to wear orange on Sunday

Feb. 6: Drake falls at home to Illinois State

Feb. 6: Bulldogs play terrific, hand victory away

Feb. 5: Aces miss key shots late in loss at Bradley

Notable:

—Sunday’s game marks the first that’s nationally televised this season for UE. Both the Drake game and Creighton the following weekend will be broadcast on ESPN U.

—While UE’s struggled away from home, losing its last five road games, the Aces are 11-2 at the Ford Center and 5-0 in Missouri Valley Conference games there. UE is one of three MVC teams, along with Creighton and Indiana State, still undefeated at home in conference play.

—UE senior Colt Ryan is six points away from 2,000, a mark just two other Aces players and 13 in MVC history have reached. He’s averaged 22.2 points per game in UE’s last 13 contests.

—Ryan has struggled more against Drake than perhaps any other MVC foe. He’s shot 27 of 77 (35.1 percent) in the Aces’ and Bulldogs’ last seven meetings.

—Drake has won five of its last eight games, often knocking off MVC opponents at their best: Creighton, Indiana State and UE after its win over Wichita State. The Bulldogs haven’t lost back-to-back games since an 0-4 start to league play.

—Drake’s 39.7 percent 3-point shooting ranks 12th in Division I, and its average 8.9 makes from beyond the arc are eighth nationally.

Quotable:

UE senior Ned Cox on the Aces’ Tuesday-Sunday scheduling this week: “With two days off, the main focus is making sure everyone gets their body right – get any nagging pains you have away. Getting in the gym and working on your individual game – that’s been big for us. And then mentally getting ready for what we have to do and getting in the mindset that we need two really good days of practice here and a full 40-minute effort to get a win on Sunday.”

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