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UE men travel to Northern Iowa

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – In its final Missouri Valley Conference game before Christmas, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team travels to Cedar Falls for a game on Saturday at Northern Iowa.  Tip is set for 1 p.m. CT with the Purple Aces Radio Network and ESPN+ having the coverage.

Last Time Out
– With the score tied at 11-11 midway through the first half, Southern Illinois went on a 30-10 run to complete the opening period before winning by a final of 80-53 on Wednesday at the Ford Center
– Hitting all five of hits attempts, Antoine Smith Jr. posted a team-high 12 points while Kenny Strawbridge Jr. scored 10
– SIU led by as many as 37 points before the Aces cut into the deficit in the late stages of the game
What an Improvement
– Offensive rebounding is one thing that been an emphasis for the Purple Aces this season and the work has paid off
– With an average of 9.67 offensive caroms per contest, UE ranks third in the MVC
– That is a start turnaround from last season when the Aces averaged just 4.77 offensive boards to rank 350th nationally and at the bottom of the Valley
Top Performance
– Scoring 25 points against Fairfield, Kenny Strawrbridge Jr. reached the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season
– His top scoring output of the season saw him register 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting
– Strawbridge’s season average of 16.8 points per game puts him 9th in the MVC
– Over the last five games, he is averaging 18.0 points while shooting an 45.8% (33-for-72) from the field
– He has attempted at least 12 shots in eight of the nine games while scoring at least 8 points in each contest
Perfect Score
– Antoine Smith Jr. hit all five of his field goal tries, including two from outside, to finish with a team-high 12 points against the Salukis
– It was his top scoring total of the season, passing his high of 11, which came against Saint Louis and South Alabama
– He bumped his season average to 6.6 points per game
– In two exhibition games, Smith was the leading scorer for the Aces with 16.0 points per game
– After tallying 7 points at Miami Ohio, Smith finished with 11 at Saint Louis while connecting on 3 of his 4 attempts with all coming from 3-point range
Matching his Mark
– For the second game in a row, Gabe Spinelli set his career mark with six points as he converted three field goals against SIU
– That performance came on the heels of a 6-point game against Fairfield on Sunday
– After scoring a total of seven points in his first six collegiate games, Spinelli has totaled 16 points in the last three contests
– Spinelli recorded four points in the win over Robert Morris
– He has converted 8 of his last 15 attempts after starting the season 2-of-11 from the field
Scouting the Opponent
– Falling in their MVC opener by a final score of 68-53, Northern Iowa fell to 2-4 on the season
– UNI’s wins this season have come over Wartburg and Northern Illinois
– Bowen Born ranks second in the MVC and leads the Panthers with a scoring average of 20.5 points per game
– He is a 44.4% shooter and leads the team with 14 3-point makes
– Tytan Anderson ranks second on the squad with 12.5 PPG while hauling in a team-best 10.0 rebounds per game
– Nate Heise averaged 12.0 PPG in two contests this season but will be out for 4-6 weeks due to a hand injury

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