NCCU falls short at Evansville, 68-55

Ryan Taylor scored 29 points, with 10 coming from the free-throw line, to help Evansville beat North Carolina Central 68-55 on Monday.

Evansville opened the game with a 12-3 run and led 36-26 at halftime after forcing 16 turnovers. The Purple Aces had a 17-point lead in the first half but missed their final five shot before halftime.

Blake Simmons and Taylor each hit a 3-pointer in the opening two minutes of the second half as Evansville extended it to 44-28. Simmons and Taylor each made three of Evansville's seven 3-pointers as the Purple Aces shot 50 percent from distance

Simmons finished with 11 points for Evansville (2-0). Duane Gibson added 10 points, and Dru Smith had eight points and 11 assists.

Raasean Davis had 12 points and nine rebounds for NC Central (0-2). The Eagles outrebounded Evansville 32-21 but turned it over 26 times, leading to 26 points.

Reginald Gardner Jr. dropped in 11 points with three assists for NCCU to make it back-to-back games scoring in double-digits to start his collegiate career.

Zacarry Douglas added 11 points and nine boards.

NCCU finishes up its three-game road trip at Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday before opening the doors at McDougald-McLendon Arena on Friday against Warren Wilson.

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(Copyright ©2017 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved - The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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