A desperation three-pointer by Evansville at the end of regulation forced overtime, and the Aces held on to win the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season finale over Missouri State (16-15, 9-9), 75-70, Saturday in MSU’s first trip to the new Ford Center.
With 20 seconds to go, UE put its fate in the hands of Colt Ryan who drove left, but Christian Kirk stepped in for a game-saving charge to give MSU the ball and the lead. However, Evansville stole the in-bound pass when Gulley lost the handle in the corner, and missed fro short range. Keith Pickens tracked down the carom and the Aces eventually fouled Downing who made both, making it a 62-59 game.
Evansville had one last prayer, and Denver Holmes answered it with a desperation three from the right wing and a second to spare to tie the game and force overtime.
The Bears got 20 points from Jarmar Gulley, 17 from Anthony Downing and 13 from Kyle Weems in a valiant effort. MSU out-rebounded Evansville by a 50-31 margin, but committed an uncharacteristic 24 turnovers and missed 11 free throws that proved to be the difference down the stretch