Evansville inched back with a 9-1 stretch as the offense hit four out of five shots while holding Canisius without a bucket for five minutes as they cut the gap to 26-23. With 1:56 left in the half, they got even closer on one of the most historic shots in program history. Colt Ryan knocked down a trey that not only brought UE within two points, but it gave him the all-time scoring record at the university. The bucket marked his ninth points of the game, giving him 2,237 for his career, one ahead of Larry Humes in a record that has stood for 47 years.
After the Aces worked hard to get back into the game, Canisius scored six in a row in a span of 20 seconds as they extended their lead to nine points going into halftime. The dagger came at the buzzer as Reggie Groves hit a three to make it a 37-28 game.
Shooting was the primary disparity at the half as UE hit just 11 out of 31 attempts (35.5%) while Canisius was 14-of-28. The Griffs also held a 21-15 rebounding edge at the break.
As much as the offense struggled in the first half, they did a full 180 in the second stanza, starting the period 5-of-6 from the floor in a 14-4 run that saw UE takes its first lead of the game at 42-41 just over four minutes in. Troy Taylor and Egidijus Mockevicius were the spark plugs as Mockevicius registered five quick points while Taylor stole the ball three times in the opening minutes of the half.
Two lead changes would ensue before Canisius would retake and begin to extend their lead. An and-one by Christ Manhertz with 9:34 left gave them a 60-53 lead after they hit six out of nine shots in the stretch as they retook the lead.
With the season on the line, Evansville made its way back as D.J. Balentine hit his first three-pointer of the night to bring the Aces within two before Ryan hit a pair of free throws to knot the game at 65-65 with just under six minutes remaining in the contest. That momentum was short-lived as Billy Baron came back with a 4-0 run of his own, which included a long three, but Ryan shot the Aces right back in it scoring 14 points in a row as UE outscored Canisius by a 14-2 margin to take its largest lead of the game at 79-71.