FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s basketball team (3-4) returns home Tuesday to host Evansville (7-1) for an 8:05 p.m. tip-off inside Bud Walton Arena on SEC Network.
• The Purple Aces, from Evansville, Indiana, play in the Missouri Valley Conference and are 7-1 on the season. Evansville has won four consecutive games, including most recently an 85-81 victory at Murray State on Saturday. The Purple Aces played in The Wooden Legacy over Thanksgiving, going 2-1 with wins over Santa Clara (69-57) and UC Irvine (75-56) following an opening-game loss to Providence (74-64).
• Senior guard DJ Balentine leads the Purple Aces with 22.3 points per game, which is 14th among all Division I players. He also averages a team-best six assists, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field. On the inside, senior center Egidijus Mockevicius is posting double-double numbers with 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per contest. He also leads Evansville with 2.6 blocks on average. Overall, the Purple Aces are second in the nation in assists per game (22.4) and fourth in the country in field goal shooting (53.2 percent).
• Head coach Marty Simmons is in his ninth season with Evansville, with a record of 133-135 in nine-plus seasons. In the 2014-15 season, the Purple Aces went 24-12 and won the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, going 5-0 in postseason play. Their overall record was the program’s best since 1991-92. As a player, Simmons played two years at Indiana before transferring to Evansville for his final two seasons of eligibility. He averaged 22.4 points as a junior and 25.9 as a senior, leading the Purple Aces to a 1988 NIT victory over Utah.
• Arkansas has won 56 of its last 57 games at home against unranked non-conference opponents, including a 42-1 mark under Anderson.
• Arkansas is 26-13 (.667) against current teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, with 24 of those meetings coming against Missouri State and the Razorbacks holding an 18-6 record against the Bears.
• Jabril Durham is one of four players in the country with three double-digit assist games this season. He has three of the six double-digit assist performances in the SEC this year and ranks No. 3 in the nation with 8.0 assists per game.
• Dusty Hannahs ranks No. 3 in the country with a .962 free throw percentage and leads the SEC in three-point field percentage among players with 20-plus attempts.
• The Razorbacks rank first or second in seven different SEC categories, including turnover margin, assist/turnover ratio, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, scoring offense, steals and assists.
• Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs are tied for the SEC lead with 20 three-pointers made on the year.
• Arkansas, Michigan State and Indiana are the only Power Five conference programs to have multiple players with 20-plus made treys this season.
Arkansas welcomes Tennessee Tech to town on Saturday, Dec. 12 for a 7 p.m. tip-off on SEC Network.
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