—The UE women are on a roll now, picking up their third win in four games Thursday by upsetting Illinois State 71-57 on the Redbirds’ home court. At 5-10 overall and 3-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play, the Aces have already matched last season’s win total and eclipsed their two MVC wins from coach Oties Epps’ first year.
—Although she didn’t start, freshman point guard Laura Friday did come off the bench and log seven minutes a game after she missed UE’s win over Southern Illinois due to a concussion suffered in a practice last week. Friday hit her only shot against Illinois State, a first-half 3-pointer.
—Also in the win, UE sophomore and Memorial High School graduate Mallory Ladd posted her sixth straight double-double since becoming eligible to play for the Aces. She’s now hit an even 40 free throws in the row as well.
—The UE men, who like the women play at Indiana State on Saturday, will be looking to handle scoring droughts differently if the situation arises against the Sycamores. The Aces went 7 of 29 from the field during a disastrous second half at Drake, including a 1 for 13 3-point effort.
—With the Drake loss, UE’s place in the NCAA’s official ratings percentage index dropped from 78th to 95th. Indiana State (11-6, 4-2 MVC) is 49th in the RPI and enters Saturday off a 68-60 victory over Missouri State.
—Saturday’s set of five MVC games present a unique situation, as the matchups all occur in order of the current standings. League-leading Creighton plays Wichita State, third-place Indiana State hosts UE and on down the line until Southern Illinois and Illinois State meet.
—UE this week announced an “Attendance Challenge” for Wednesday’s game against Bradley at the Ford Center. For every 1,000 fans there to see the Aces play the Braves, the university will take a dollar off ticket prices to the next home game, Jan. 29 against Northern Iowa.
—The MVC featured UE senior Colt Ryan this week on its Larry Bird Trophy update. Schools typically have a leading candidate for the award, which goes to the top-performing MVC men’s basketball player, and Ryan is the Aces’ representatives. While Creighton junior Doug McDermott (24 points, 7.2 rebounds a game) is a favorite to win the trophy, Ryan’s averaging 22.3 points and 3.7 assists to stay in contention.