Evansville, IN (Sports Network) - Colt Ryan poured in 33 points as the Evansville Purple Aces took an 84-78 overtime victory over the Drake Bulldogs in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Knapp Center.
Ryan hit 8-of-21 shots from the floor and 14-of-15 from the free-throw line while grabbing seven steals for Evansville (14-11, 7-6 MVc) which had lost three of its last four games. Ned Cox added 21 points and six assists and Troy Taylor had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Ben Simons scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting, Richard Carter had 13 points and seven assists, Seth VenDeest chipped in 11 points and Jordan Clarke had a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds for Drake (11-13, 5-8) which has lost back-to-back games.
Drake led 35-26 at halftime by shooting 40.6 percent from the field, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, while holding Evansville to 28.1 percent shooting.
Both teams shot an even 50 percent from the field in the second half. The Bulldogs led by three points with 1:21 remaining after a pair of free throws from Simons. After getting a stop on Evansville's next possession the Bulldogs had a chance to close out the game at the free-throw line but Carter failed to convert the front end of a one-and-one. The Purple Aces collected the rebound and Ryan nailed a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to knot the game at 66-66. Carter missed a driving shot as time expired to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session the Purple Aces continually willed themselves to the free-throw line and by hitting 16-of-18 shots from the stripe were able to pull out the victory.
The game featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes. Evansville forced 19 turnovers and scored 25 points off those takeaways while coughing the ball up only seven times itself.