EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Shy Ely scored seven of his 16 points during an 18-0 run at the start of the game, and Evansville held on for a 63-57 victory over Indiana State on Saturday night.
The Purple Aces (12-5, 4-3 Missouri Valley) did not allow a point for nearly 11 minutes before a 3-pointer by Jay Tunnell.
The Sycamores (4-12, 2-5), playing their second straight game without injured scoring leader Harry Marshall, trailed 30-14 at halftime but steadily cut into Evansville's big lead in the second period.
A basket by Rashad Reed pulled Indiana State within 59-56 with a minute to go, but Clint Hopf scored a layup and Hopf and Kaylon Williams each hit one of two free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
Lavon Lacey added 11 points and Hopf finished with 10 for Evansville. Reed led Indiana State with 12 points.