Links from UE’s 62-50 win over Tennessee Tech:
—Ned Cox leads UE to win at Tennessee Tech
—Quotes from Cox, coach Marty Simmons and D.J. Balentine
—Evansville picks up third straight win
—Golden Eagles trumped by Purple Aces in Eblen Center
—UE student Bryce Weiler on Tuesday night’s game
—Much of what UE did well Tuesday showed up in the stat sheet. By scoring 62 points and shooting 24 of 49 from the field, the Aces posted season-highs in just about every offensive statistical category. They also held Tennessee Tech to 50 points, bettering a scoring defense that was already giving up only 53.3 points per game, and out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 34-24. Then there’s what the Aces did that won’t show up in the stat sheet. If anyone was tracking 50-50 balls, it would show that UE probably came out with 90 percent of them. And that gets back to the effort factor that coach Marty Simmons has talked about since practice started this fall. Without Colt Ryan available, it seems the Aces have turned up the wick these last three games.
—Speaking of, UE played it safe with Ryan, who’s still coming back from a hip pointer injury suffered less than a week ago. Ryan made the trip to Tennessee Tech and dressed, but he didn’t warm up or check into the game. In all likelihood, UE won’t need Ryan to beat Alabama A&M on Monday at the Ford Center in the Aces’ next game. The focus will probably be on having him ready for a trip to Colorado State a week from Saturday, where the UE will face a team off an NCAA tournament appearance. That said, if Ryan feels ready to go by Monday, it would help to ease him back in before one of the Aces’ biggest non-conference games.
—After Tuesday’s game, Simmons tweeted: “Great Team Win Tonight.” He wasn’t exaggerating. At the half, eight of UE’s nine players who saw action had scored, none more than five points, and the Aces led 33-17. That was nine for nine by the end of the game, and scoring was still balanced. On defense, the Aces locked down again during a stretch of 11 scoreless minutes for Tennessee Tech. Similar trends were seen, albeit later in the contests, last weekend against Yale and Western Illinois. UE led by as many as 26 points over Tennessee Tech, so the final score didn’t really represent how much of a rout it was.
—It was only a matter of time before Cox’s shots started falling. Cox had, well, who knows how many open looks against Notre Dame, and the same went for UE’s three Coaches vs. Cancer Classic games. The senior guard didn’t stop firing, and that persistence paid off against Tennessee Tech with a game-high 15 points on 5 of 12 from the field. Shooting 26 percent through four games represented a small sample size. After 10 or so games, Cox’s percentage will represent a more accurate portrayal of what the Aces can expect from the career-reserve-turned-starter this season.