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Evansville dismantles UC Irvine 75-56

Purple Aces poised to climb the mid-major rankings this week.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday's Wooden Legacy match up between Evansville and UC Irvine was expected to have major Mid-Major Power 15 repercussions. Evansville was looking to end a solid week and continue to climb from their current eighth ranking and the Anteaters were looking to enter the rankings.

After a tight first half where Evansville trailed 31-27, the Purple Aces woke up and dismantled the Anteaters to the tune of 48-25 in the second half for a 75-56 win.

Egidijus Mockevicius was the story for the Purple Aces as the big man finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Those numbers are staggering when you consider he was going up against 7-plus footers Mamadou Ndiaye and Ioannis Dimakopoulos.

D.J. Balentine and Blake Simmons also added 15 points a piece from Evansville's limited seven man rotation. Adam Wing nearly had a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds.

UC Irvine did not get great production from their starting five as no one finished in double-figures. Instead the Anteaters scoring came from Dimakopouls with 12 points and Jaron Martin with 15 points. The massive Big West squad was out-rebounded 39-30 on the matinee match up.

Evansville will return from Anaheim with two wins and a tough loss against likely soon-to-be-ranked Providence. The Purple Aces have another big week ahead hosting Alabama State before taking a road trip to always tough Murray State.

UC Irvine makes the short trip home with a 1-2 mark in the Wooden Legacy beating Boston College but losing to the Purple Aces and Boise State. A four game road trip is ahead for the Anteaters with match ups at Pacific, St. Mary's, Utah State, and #21 Oregon.