EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Almost halfway through the second half, Drake had done almost everything it hoped to do against the University of Evansville, except hit a few more shots.
The Bulldogs had forced a 41-41 tie after trailing by 13 points in the first half. They had held the Aces without a 3-point basket.
Then, senior guard Jason Holsinger collected a long offensive rebound and hit a 3-pointer with 11:03 to play that started Evansville on a 12-0 run that would provide the difference in a 76-65 Evansville win.
It was the ninth straight win at home for the Aces (9-2, 1-0 Missouri Valley Conference), dropping defending Valley champion Drake to 9-4 and 0-1 in the conference opener for both schools.
"Holsinger's basket was big," said first-year Drake coach Mark Phelps, "but then he comes back and hits another 3-pointer on their next possession, which was the difference.
"That stretched their lead to six points, which seemed a lot bigger in a game like this. Then, when we weren't scoring, they were."
Evansville's decisive run coincided with a cold spell by all of the Bulldogs, except Josh Young, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
After Jonathon Cox hit a short jumper to give Drake its fourth and last lead at 39-38 with 13:47 to play, no other Bulldog except Young scored for the next 12 minutes.
So by the time Josh Parker hit a 3-pointer with 1:39 to play, the game was already decided with Evansville leading 71-56.
"You have to credit Evansville," said Young, who added four rebounds and two assists. "They did a good job of identifying our shooters and defending, but we also got a little stagnant offensively."
"We started the second half well and even had a couple leads, but they limited our good looks on offense and had great ball movement and energy at their end," Phelps said.
Behind Young, Parker came off the bench for 15 points and a team-high three assists. Cox added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Evansville was led by Holsinger and fellow senior Shy Ely with 16 points each. Ely added a game-high 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.