Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

UE Eyes Do-Over against Drake Aces' Sawvell Making Strides

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

UE Eyes Do-Over against Drake Aces' Sawvell Making Strides

Article excerpt

The last time the University of Evansville played Drake, Ryan Sawvell was left with memories he'd rather erase - even if he did finish with a career high in points. He won't be the only Aces player looking to prove something during tonight's game (ESPNU, 7 CST) against the Bulldogs at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Though Sawvell, a 6-foot-8 freshman, led the Aces in scoring (14) and rebounding (6) against the Bulldogs back on Jan. 13, his performance was overshadowed by the 69-60 loss at the Ford Center. It marked the fourth-consectuve setback for the Aces during a stretch when the first three were by one or two points. Against Drake, very little went right.

Ryan got into early foul trouble and finished with six points and five fouls. Kenneth Harris matched those half dozen points, making him a non-factor as well.

And defensively, the Aces were out of sorts from the opening tip, allowing Drake to hit 73 percent of its shots in the first half and 27 of 44 (61.4 percent) for the game.

The Aces never led and trailed by as many as 17 points. "I think they opened up 8-0 on us and we never really responded," said Sawvell.

"We're trying to win a game on the road, so that can't happen again. We have to be the punchers and not the punchees."

For the rematch, the Bulldogs are the team that has lost three straight and leading scorer Ben Simons (16.9 ppg) has missed the last two because of mononucleosis. But UE coach Marty Simmons prefers to prepare for the possibility the Bulldogs will play just as well as they did the last time.

"We just need to make sure we are executing and competing hard throughout the game," said Simmons.

Knowing that the Aces need a strong presence in the post, the undersized Sawvell has improved his intensity on both ends of the court during the past month. He has scored in double figures in six of his last nine games, including his first double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds against Bradley. …

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