EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Ryan Taylor scored 21 points, K.J. Riley added 12, and Evansville pulled away early from Arkansas State to win Friday night's season opener for both teams 77-63 in Mike Balado's coaching debut for the Red Wolves.

Dru Smith scored 11 points and Dainiu Chatkevicius 10 for the Purple Aces, who took the lead for good at 10-8 on Solomon Hainna's layup and led by as many as 26 points in the second half.

Neither team shot better than 45 percent from the floor, but Evansville made 26 of 34 free throws to Arkansas State's 10 of 12 in winning its fourth opener in five years.

Ty Cockfield scored 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and Connor Kern added 10 points for the Red Wolves, who were outscored 32-18 in points off the bench.

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