Evansville Downs Herd In Season Opener, 91-81

A little old combined with a little new, and the result was a 91-81 Evansville win over Marshall Friday night in the opening game of the University of Evansville men's basketball season. Matt Webster tied his career high with 24 points and went 14-of-14 from the line as Evansville rallied in the second half for the win...

The 'old' was 6-7 junior forward Matt Webster, a two-year starter who tied his career best with 24 points and added 10 rebounds. He was a perfect 14-for-14 at the free throw line. The 'new' was 5-11 freshman guard Jason Holsinger, who hit six of nine shots and scored 19 points in his collegiate debut. Bradley Strickland scored 13 for the Purple Aces (1-0).

Webster, a junior, also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Those two led Evansville to a 58-point second half after Marshall had taken a 36-33 halftime lead. Webster scored 16 of his 24 in the second half, and Holsinger scored 14 of his 19 in the second half.

"When I step up and take charge, maybe it shows some of the newer guys what it takes to win," Webster said afterward. "I knew the team was looking to me in the second half, and I tried to stay aggressive."

Travis Aikens had 22, and Joe Miles scored 19 to pace Marshall, which led 36-33 at the half. Chris Ross added 13 for the Thundering Herd (0-1).

The Aces and the Herd tied twice at 39 and 43 early in the third quarter. But Evansville, which had a 44-31 advantage on the boards and a 32-20 edge at the free-throw line, controlled the rest of the game.

Added Holsinger, "I was not happy with the way I shot it in the two exhibition games, so I was I looking to step it up tonight, and fortunately most of the shots went in."

Junior center Bradley Strickland added 13 points and six rebounds for the Purple Aces. Travis Aikens led the 0-1 Thundering Herd with 22 points.

Marshall came no closer than seven points during the last two minutes, and the Aces sealed the game in the final 30 seconds on a pair of free throws by Holsinger.

Evansville outshot the Herd 47 percent (26-of-55) to nearly 40 percent (25-of-69) from the field. The Aces also shot 80 percent (32-of-40) from the line, compared with Marshall's 71.4 percent (20-of-28).

Evansville took the lead for good on a Kyle Anslinger three-pointer with 9:40 to play, and went on an 8-2 run late in the game to extend its lead from 72-69 to 80-71.

The Aces will travel to Huntington next Saturday to play Marshall.


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