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—Free throws haven’t been UE’s strength all season — just recently. The Aces used 11 of them in the second half to hold off Northern Iowa. Good fortune from the charity stripe is no flue for UE, as I wrote in my follow up to Wednesday’s game.

—Check out some other observations from Wednesday’s game as well as a roundup of links from both UE and Northern Iowa writers here. UE seniors Colt Ryan and Troy Taylor talk about the game here along with a video of Aces coach Marty Simmons.

Ryan reached a milestone in the victory and joined just 26 other players in Missouri Valley Conference history by scoring 1,800 career points.

—Wichita State will enter Sunday’s 3:35 p.m. game at UE with a 14-1 record, though Southern Illinois nearly handed the Shockers an upset loss on Wednesday. Junior Cleanthony Early scored 39 points as Wichita State overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to win, 82-76.

—Organizers in charge of the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard named 20 finalists on Thursday, and UE senior Troy Taylor didn’t make the cut. Taylor, the Aces’ leader in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and assists (4.4 apg), was among the original Cousy Award nominees.

—The Omaha World-Herald reported Thursday that Creighton hasn’t received an invitation to join the Big East Conference’s seven breakaway Catholic schools in a new league. That hasn’t done anything to calm speculation that the Bluejays’ athletic department is a favorite to be plucked from the MVC.

Illinois State coach Dan Muller suspended senior guard Tyler Brown, an Owensboro, Ky., native, on Wednesday for conduct detrimental to the team. Muller’s Redbirds are a surprising 0-4 in MVC games, and the coach didn’t rule out Brown (15.3 ppg) playing Saturday when Illinois State hosts Drake.

—UE’s two Division II exhibition opponents squared off on Thursday. Anyone who attended both the Aces’ games against the University of Southern Indiana and Illinois-Springfield would be surprised to know former UE assistant Ben Wierzba and the Prairie Stars pulled out a win over the Screaming Eagles.

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