Evansville, IN (Sports Network) - Egidijus Mockevicius scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocks five shots as the Evansville Purple Aces outlasted the Missouri State Bears to pick up a 62-59 overtime win in a Missouri Valley Conference thriller at the Ford Center.
Lewis Jones added 14 points for Evansville (8-6, 1-1 MVC) and Colt Ryan contributed 13 points. Troy Taylor was a force on the glass as he pulled down 19 rebounds to help the Purple Aces end their two-game losing slide.
Missouri State (3-11, 1-1) lost for the ninth time in 10 outings despite Anthony Downing tallying 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Nathan Scheer came off the bench to provide 10 points.
Both sides shot just under 30 percent from the floor in the opening half, but Evansville took a 21-15 lead into halftime thanks to its 4-of-5 performance at the free throw line before the break.
Missouri State heated up after the intermission to connect on 48.4 percent of its field goal attempts, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range. The Purple Aces went 9-of-26 from the field in the second half, but managed to stay in the game by hitting 11-of-14 attempts at the charity stripe. The Bears held a 47-43 lead with 3 minutes to play after Keith Pickens put in a layup, but Evansville answered with an 8-0 run to go back in front until the Scheer and Downing's back-to-back layups with seven seconds left that forced overtime.
The Purple Aces outscored Missouri State, 6-0, in the paint in the extra session to secure their first Missouri Valley Conference victory of the season.
Despite the loss, the Bears' reserves netted 25 points while Evansville's bench scored just two.