Evansville defeats Drake 69-61 in MVC opener
ST. LOUIS — Egidijus Mockevicius tied a career-high with 19 points, had a career-best eight blocks and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 9 seed Evansville defeated eighth-seeded Drake 69-61 in the opening round of the Missouri Valley tournament Thursday night.
D.J. Balentine added 30 points for Evansville (14-18) which faces top-seeded Wichita State in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Jordan Daniels scored to give Drake a 21-19 lead with 8:10 to play in the first half. Evansville answered with a 14-0 run, including six points by Balentine, to take a 33-21 lead and the Purple Aces led the rest of the way.
Daniels scored seven straight points and Daddy Ugbede made a layup to cap a 9-0 to pull Drake within six points, 58-52 with 8:49 remaining, but the Bulldogs did not get any closer.
Richard Carter scored 26 points and Daniels finished with 11 to lead Drake (15-16).