Evansville 69, Samford 65

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Jason Holsinger scored 16 points and Matt Webster added 15 to help lead Evansville to a 69-65 victory over Samford in an ESPNU Bracket Buster game on Saturday.

Evansville (14-14 Missouri Valley Conference) jumped ahead early and lead 32-29 at the half after shooting 66.7 percent from the field.

Bradley Strickland added 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting to round out the double-digit scoring for the Purple Aces.

Samford (14-14 Ohio Valley Conference) was led by Randall Gulina's 17 points. Joe Ross Merritt and Jerry Smith both scored 12 points for the Bulldogs.

Two good free throws by Webster capped a steady comeback effort for Evansville and tied the score at 56 with 4:55 left to play. His jumper seconds later pulled the Aces ahead by two and they never looked back.

Gulina sparked a late Samford rally and the Bulldogs pulled within two, 65-67, on a 3-pointer by Merritt with 13 seconds left on the clock.

But it was the closest the Bulldogs would get after two good free throws by Evansville's Kyle Anslinger sealed the game.