Indiana State (3-11, 1-2 Missouri Valley) dominated the first half and the first five minutes of the second half before Evansville made its move. The Purple Aces (10-3, 2-1) owed their comeback largely to Ely, who scored 12 of Evansville's final 18 points.
The Aces took their first lead of the game, 57-56, with 1:41 remaining on an Ely bucket off an offensive rebound. Another bucket by Ely, and two free throws by Jason Holsinger put Evansville on top, 61-58, with 21 seconds left.
Evansville managed just 36 percent, but connected on 21 of 27 free throws -- 14 of those in the second half.