Tyler Brown's 21 point performance was one of the bright spots in ISU's loss at Evansville. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By The Associated Press
EVANSVILLE - Colt Ryan continued his climb up the scoring charts, pouring in 31 points as Evansville defeated Illinois State 79-62 Wednesday night.
Ryan now has 2,092 career points and is just 144 points shy of Evansville's all-time leader, Larry Humes (2,236 from 1963-66), with three regular-season games plus the Missouri Valley Conference tournament remaining.
Coach Dan Muller said Illinois State failed to execute in any phase of the game against the Aces.
"Offensively, defensively, rebounding, ball care, physicality, getting to the foul line. We just got out-competed tonight," he said.
PODCAST: Listen to Coach Muller's postgame comments
The Purple Aces (15-13, 8-8 Missouri Valley) never trailed, jumping out to an 11-2 lead en route to a 42-33 halftime advantage. Evansville stretched its lead to as many as 23 points in the second half.
Tyler Brown's performance was one of the only bright spots for the Redbirds, finishing with 21 points.
Illinois State has now lost two games in a row, with just three games to play in the regular season.
"It's more mental I think right now," Muller said. "We can't let that beat us and unfortunately tonight I think that had a lot to do with it."
Ned Cox added 16 points for Evansville and Egidijus Mockevicius had 11 rebounds.
Illinois State had won seven of its past nine games. Jackie Carmichael added 14 rebounds.
The Redbirds finish the regular season non-conference schedule on Saturday night when Illinois State plays Utah State in the BracketBusters in Logan, Utah. Redbird Preview starts at 7 p.m. with tipoff just after 8 p.m.
Paul Morello contributed to this report.