EVANSVILLE, Ind. - It's never easy to win on the road in the ultra-competitive Missouri Valley Conference, especially when the game is at your oldest rival. The Sycamores led for the better part of the game and held on late for a thrilling 71-66 win over Evansville in front of 3,601 fans inside Ford Center.
ISU won at Evansville for the first time since 2014 and improved to 9-10, 4-3 MVC. The Purple Aces, who were 10-1 at home heading into this game, fell to 12-8, 2-5 MVC. The win was the 90th all-time for the Sycamores over Evansville -- now tied with Eastern Illinois for the most victories against one opponent in the history of the program. There is now a three-way tie at 5-2 for the MVC lead between Drake, Loyola and Missouri State, but the Sycamores are just one game behind the pack tied with Saturday's opponent, Illinois State at 4-3.
For head coach Greg Lansing, it was his 69th Missouri Valley Conference victory -- tying him with Royce Waltman for the most MVC wins by a head coach in the history of the program. It was also his 36th road victory in his career and the 129th of his career -- now just five behind Waltman for second on the ISU head coaching wins list.
Jordan Barnes continued his strong scoring streak by leading the way with 17 points. He hit a trio of 3-pointers as well as free throws down the stretch. Qiydar Davis returned after a two-game absence due to Illness to score 12 off the bench while Brenton Scott added 14 and Tyreke Key posted 10. ISU owned a 43-35 edge on the glass and were led by nine each from Key and Brandon Murphy. Murphy narrowly missed a double-double as he had nine points in the contest and did nothing to hurt his standing as the MVC's top shot maker in league play by going 4-of-5 from the field.