Game #28: UNI at Evansville
Wed., Feb. 15 - 7 p.m. (Central)
Ford Center - Evansville, Ind.
Radio: Panther Sports Network
The University of Northern Iowa Panthers (17-10, 7-8 MVC) men’s basketball team will make its first appearance in the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., on Wednesday against the Evansville Purple Aces (12-13 overall, 7-8 MVC).
Game #29: UNI at VCU
Fri., Feb. 17 - 7 p.m. (Eastern)
Siegel Center - Richmond, Va.
Radio: Panther Sports Network
The UNI Panthers will continue its two-game road trip to Richmond, Va., to take on the VCU Rams (22-5, 13-2 CAA) on Friday at 7 p.m. (Eastern) in a SEARS BracketBusters contest. The game will air live on ESPN2.
• UNI begins the week ranked No. 52 in the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI. UNI is 3-4 against the Top 50.
• UNI’s non-conference strength of schedule ranks No. 32 in the nation according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI.
• UNI has won 11 of the last 14 matchups against Evansville.
• Evansville leads the all-time series vs. UNI, 20-19. Evansville has won two straight home games against the Panthers.
• UNI freshman Seth Tuttle leads the MVC in field goal percentage (.657).
• Over his last eight games, Tuttle has taken charge and leads the Panthers in scoring at 14.1 points per game. In that stretch, Tuttle is shooting 70.2 percent from the field (40-of-57) and has grabbed a team-high 42 rebounds (5.3 rpg).
• UNI senior guard Johnny Moran enters Wednesday’s game at Evansville needing 15 points to become the 34th UNI Panther to join the 1,000 Point Club. Moran ranks T-No. 35 on the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with 985 points.
• UNI and VCU have each knocked the Kansas Jayhawks out of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
• UNI is 5-4 all-time in BracketBusters game, which includes a 4-3 mark in televised BracketBuster contests.
• UNI’s streak of three consecutive 20-win seasons is the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference.
• UNI returns eight letterwinners and three starters from last year’s Panther squad that posted a mark of 20-14.
• Head coach Ben Jacobson is in his sixth season at the helm of the Panther program having posted a career mark of 126-67.
• Jacobson ranks No. 4 on the Panthers’ all-time wins list trailing only O.M. “Hon” Nordly (166), Eldon Miller (164) and Jim Berry (144).
Evansville, Drake and UNI are in a 3-way tie for fifth place in the MVC standings ... the Purple Aces are 7-8 in MVC play and 12-13 overall ... Evansville is led in scoring by Colt Ryan (20.0 ppg) ... Evansville is 4-3 at home in MVC play with league wins over Southern Illinois, Bradley, Illinois State and Creighton.
VCU is located in Richmond, Va., with an enrollment of 32,000 ... the Rams are led by third-year head coach Shaka Smart ... Smart guided the Rams to the Final Four in 2011 with NCAA Tournament wins over USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas ... VCU lost in the Final Four to eventual national runner-up Butler (70-62).
Starting with the team’s game Nov. 15 at Saint Mary’s, this year’s UNI men’s basketball games can be heard on the UNI Sports Radio Network, with KXEL (1540 AM, Waterloo, Iowa) serving as flagship station. Affiliates include KGYM (1600 AM, Cedar Rapids), KCHA (95.9 FM and 1580 AM, Charles City), KXNO (1460 AM, Des Moines), KQCR (98.9 FM, Hampton), KQMG (95.3 FM, Independence), KRIB (1490 AM, Mason City), KILJ (105.5 FM, Mount Pleasant), KWQC (1570 AM, Webster City).
Long-time Panthers announcer Gary Rima handles play-by-play duties, while Kevin Boyle serves as analyst.
UNI PANTHERS INSIDE ACCESS
All of UNI’s home men’s basketball games can be viewed and listened to on the World Wide Web by going to www.unipanthers.com. UNI has partnered with NeuLion to provide live video and audio streaming of Panther basketball via “UNI Panthers Inside Access”. In addition to video from most home men’s basketball contests, and audio from home and road contests, this subscription-based service also provides video and audio of a number of other UNI sports. In addition, all Panther home men’s basketball games have free live stats courtesy of StatBroadcast.com.
TV INFO FOR FRIDAY’S UNI-VCU GAME
Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Dan Dakich (analyst) will call the UNI-VCU SEARS BracketBuster matchup from the Siegel Center with a tip set for just after 7 p.m. (Eastern).
The telecast will be cleared live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
SERIES HISTORY VS. EVANSVILLE
Evansville holds a 20-19 lead in the all-time series vs. UNI. Evansville scored a 76-65 win over UNI on Jan. 1 in the McLeod Center.
UNI has won 11 of the last 14 matchups vs. the Purple Aces. UNI’s last win at Evansville came Jan. 13, 2009, when the Panthers notched a 58-47 victory.
The teams have split the season series in each of the past two seasons.
UNI head coach Ben Jacobson is 8-3 all-time vs. Evansville.
LOOKING TO SNAP A HOOSIER STATE STREAK
UNI will be looking for its first win in the state of Indiana since Jan. 16, 2010, when the Panthers knocked off the Indiana State Sycamores in the Hulman Center, 67-58.
Since then, UNI is 0-4 in the Hoosier state having lost its last two road games to Evansville and two more times at Indiana State.
PANTHERS LOOKS TO EVEN SEASON SERIES VS PURPLE ACES
UNI will be looking to even the season series vs. Evasnville on Wednesday. Evansville last swept the regular season series vs. the Panthers in the 2000-01 season.
RARE SWEEPS IN JACOBSON ERA
Since Ben Jacobson took over the head coaching duties in 2006-07, the UNI program has only been swept in an MVC home-and-home series on six occasions.
Wichita State became the sixth squad to do so on Wednesday with an 82-57 win over UNI.
Previously, the only five times it has occurred have come vs. Indiana State (2010-11), Creighton (2006-07, 2007-08) and Drake (2006-07, 2007-08).
ON THE OTHER HAND
UNI has swept an MVC opponent 18 times since the 2006-07 season. UNI has swept all nine opponents in the MVC at least once in that stretch.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE
UNI’s Seth Tuttle is a making a strong case for MVC Freshman of the Year honors.
Tuttle recorded his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 78-63 win over Illinois State (2/11).
Tuttle leads the Missouri Valley Conference in field goal percentage (65.7 percent).
Tuttle ranks tied for second on the Panther squad in scoring at 9.3 points per game.
KING TUTTLE HAS TAKEN OVER
Over his last eight games, Tuttle has taken charge and leads the Panthers in scoring at 14.1 points per game.
In that stretch, Tuttle is shooting 70.2 percent from the field (40-of-57) and has grabbed a team-high 42 rebounds (5.3 rpg).
UNI TO PLAY AT VCU IN SEARS BRACKETBUSTERS
The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team will play the VCU Rams on Fri., Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. (ET) in Richmond, Va., in the 2012 SEARS BracketBusters matchup. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
VCU is 22-5 on the season and tied for first place at 13-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Rams have won 11 straight games heading into this week’s play.
VCU reached the 2011 Final Four.
UNI and VCU have never met on the basketball floor.
This will mark the eighth TV appearance for UNI in the BracketBusters - the most in the Missouri Valley Conference. UNI is 4-3 in TV BracketBuster games.
UNI is 5-4 all-time in the previous nine years of BracketBusters matchups.
UNI in BracketBuster Games
2003 UNI 76, @Louisiana Tech 71 -- (TV)
2004 UNI 82, @Wis.-Green Bay 75
2005 @UNI 86, W. Michigan 75 -- (TV)
2006 @UNI 65, Bucknell 61 (2OT) -- (TV)
2007 @Nevada 79, UNI 64 -- (TV)
2008 Illinois-Chicago 70, @UNI 58
2009 @Siena 81, UNI 75 -- (TV)
2010 @UNI 71, Old Dominion 62 -- (TV)
2011 George Mason 77, UNI 71 -- (TV)
PANTHERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BRACKETBUSTERS RETURN GAME
UNI has also fared well in the BracketBuster return games, going 6-2 in those return contests. UNI has scored return trip wins over Louisiana Tech (75-72 in 2003-04), Wisconsin-Green Bay (76-65 in 2004-05), Western Michigan (69-63 in 2005-06), Bucknell (57-48 in 2006-07), Siena (82-65 in 2009-10) and Old Dominion (63-46 in 2011-12).
Friday’s BracketBuster game between UNI and VCU will likely not be Must-See TV for fans of the Kansas Jayhawks.
UNI and VCU have each knocked the Jayhawks out of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
UNI scored a 69-67 win over Kansas in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla.
VCU tallied a 71-61 win over the Jayhawks in the regional final of the 2011 NCAA tournament in San Antonio, Texas.
UNI AMONG THE NATION’S LEADERS IN FEWEST TURNOVERS
UNI ranks No. 12 in the nation in turnovers per game (10.7).
NO. 52 IN RPI
UNI begins the week ranked No. 52 in the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI. UNI is 3-4 against the Top 50.
UNI’s non-conference strength of schedule ranks No. 32.
62 OR LESS
UNI is 12-0 this season when holding the opposition to 62 points or less. UNI is only 5-9 when allowing 63 points or more.
MORAN MOVES A STEP CLOSER TO THE GAMES PLAYED MARK AT UNI
Senior guard Johnny Moran moved into a tie for No. 3 all-time at UNI in games played with his 128th game on Saturday.
Moran will move into solo third on the games played list on Wednesday with his 129th career game.
Moran is currently tied at No. 3 with Eric Coleman (2004-08).
Kwadzo Ahelegbe (2006-11) set the UNI record for games played with 133 in the 2010-11 season.
MORAN CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
Senior guard Johnny Moran enters Wednesday’s game at Evansville needing 15 points to become the 34th UNI Panther to join the 1,000 Point Club.
Moran ranks T-No. 35 on the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with 985 points.
MORAN IS KNOCKING DOWN THREES
Johnny Moran ranks No. 2 on the Panthers’ all-time 3-pointers made list with 187 triples.
Ben Jacobson (2003-06) set the UNI record with 203 made 3-pointers.
JAMES LEADS THE UNI SCORING ATTACK
Junior guard Anthony James leads the Panthers in scoring at 13.0 points per game. James has reached double-figure scoring in 18 games, including five contests of 20 or more points. James has recorded nine 20-plus scoring efforts in his UNI Panther career.
CHIP RANKS RIGHT UP THERE
Sophomore forward Chip Rank leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage (46.0 percent). He ranks No. 2 on the team in field goal percentage (50.5 percent).
Rank has tallied seven double-figure scoring efforts this season, including a career-high 15 points at Bradley (1/15). Rank buried a career-high four 3-pointers against the Braves.
Last season, Rank reached double-figure scoring only once as a true freshman - 14 points against Drake.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING,
UNI is 17-10 on the season with some stark contrasts in the numbers between the wins and the losses.
In UNI’s 17 wins, the Panthers are averaging 70.7 points per game and giving up 57.5 points per game.
In UNI’s 10 losses, the Panthers are averaging 58.3 points per game and giving up 69.0 points per game.
UNI is shooting 46.9 percent in its 17 wins, but that number drops to 37.8 percent in its 10 losses.
UNI has made 43.8 percent of its 3-point shots in its 17 wins, but only 33.5 percent of its 3-point shots in its 10 setbacks.
KOCH DRAINS ‘EM FROM THE LINE
Junior Jake Koch currently ranks No. 6 on the Panthers’ all-time free throw percentage list. Koch has made 204-of-251 career free throws for a mark of 81.3 percent.
Maurice Newby (1987-91) holds the UNI free throw percentage record at 85.6 percent (149-of-174).
UNI’S 3-POINT STREAK
UNI enters Wednesday’s game at Evansville having made at least one made three-pointer in 386 straight games.
The last time UNI failed to make a 3-point basketball came Feb. 3, 2000, vs. Southern Illinois in a 72-58 Panther victory in the UNI-Dome. UNI went 0-for-4 from 3-point land vs. the Salukis back in 2000.
CLOSING IN ON VICTORY NO. 18
UNI currently sits at 17 wins on the season and with its next win would extend a streak of eight straight seasons with 18 or more wins.
Prior to the 2003-04 season, UNI had won 18 or more games only six times in the history of the men’s basketball program.
18-Plus Wins Prior to 2003-04
1961-62 - 19-5
1963-64 - 23-4
1978-79 - 18-11
1983-84 - 18-10
1988-89 - 19-9
1989-90 - 23-9
18-Plus Wins Since 2003-04
2003-04 - 21-10
2004-05 - 21-11
2005-06 - 23-10
2006-07 - 18-13
2007-08 - 18-14
2008-09 - 23-11
2009-10 - 30-5
2010-11 - 20-14
UNI ON ESPN FAMILY OF NETWORKS
UNI has made 34 appearances in the last six years on the ESPN family of networks with a mark of 16-18.
UNI’s 66-52 win over Drake (1/22) snapped a five-game losing streak for the Panthers on the World Wide Leader.
The Panthers have won 11 of their last 19 contests on the ESPN family of networks.
Date Opponent Score Network
2/17/12 at VCU -- ESPN2
1/28/12 at Missouri State L, 63-51 ESPNU
1/22/12 Drake W, 66-52 ESPNU
1/1/12 Evansville L, 76-65 ESPNU
11/14/11 at Saint Mary’s L, 57-41 ESPN
2/19/11 George Mason L, 77-71 ESPN2
2/12/11 Wichita State L, 73-55 ESPN2
2/2/11 at Drake L, 72-69 ESPNU
1/30/11 at Missouri State W, 60-59 ESPNU
1/26/11 Creighton W, 71-66 ESPNU
2/27/10 Illinois State W, 61-55 ESPN2
2/19/10 Old Dominion W, 71-62 ESPN2
2/6/10 Southern Illinois W, 55-52 ESPN2
1/19/10 Wichita State L, 60-51 ESPNU
1/12/10 Bradley W, 61-49 ESPNU
1/9/10 Illinois State W, 59-44 ESPN2
1/6/10 Southern Illinois W, 61-49 ESPNU
2/21/09 at Siena L, 81-75 ESPN2
1/25/09 at Missouri State W, 78-69 ESPNU
1/17/09 at Drake W, 81-59 ESPN2
12/9/08 at Iowa L, 65-46 ESPNU
2/5/08 at Creighton L, 74-50 ESPNU
1/15/08 Creighton L, 68-59 ESPN2
2/17/07 at Nevada L, 79-64 ESPN2
2/13/07 at Creighton L, 66-55 ESPNU
1/30/07 Wichita State L, 67-61 ESPN2
1/23/07 at Southern Illinois L, 56-54 ESPNU
1/6/07 Southern Illinois W, 66-61 ESPNU
12/27/07 Bradley W, 76-65 ESPN2
2/25/06 at Southern Illinois L, 46-45 ESPN2
2/18/06 Bucknell W, 65-61 ESPN2
1/31/06 at Creighton L, 63-55 ESPNU
1/5/06 at Wichita State W, 75-61 ESPNU
1/19/05 Western Michigan W, 86-75 ESPN2
2/9/05 at Creighton L, 83-82 ESPN2
WINNING TRADITION AT MCLEOD
UNI has posted an all-time mark of 70-22 (.761) in games played in the McLeod Center. The McLeod Center was finished in November 2006.
UNI is 12-3 at home this season in the McLeod Center. The Panthers have won 40 of their last 48 games in the McLeod Center.
UNI posted a perfect mark of 14-0 in home games in the 2009-10 season. UNI set its home win streak of 21 between the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons.
DOUBLE DIGIT LEADS HAVE SLIPPED AWAY
UNI is 7-8 in Missouri Valley Conference play but could be in much different shape had it held some leads that got away. The Panthers have squandered leads in six of its eight league losses, including three double-digit advantages.
UNI was up 14 points (22-8; 10:03 left in 1st half) vs. Evansville on Jan. 1 before falling to the Purple Aces, 76-65.
UNI was up 11 points (31-20; 7:12 left in 1st half) at Creighton on Jan. 10 before losing to the Bluejays, 63-60.
UNI was up 16 points (44-28; 17:17 left in the 2nd half) at Bradley on Jan. 15 before losing to the Braves, 78-67.
UNI held a two-point lead at Illinois State before dropping a 65-61 decision on Dec. 29. The Panthers held an eight-point lead against Wichita State on Jan. 18, before falling 71-68 to the Shockers.
The Panthers led Missouri State, 9-3, in the opening minutes before dropping a 63-51 decision on Jan. 28 in Springfield, Mo.
WITH THE DISH
UNI set a season high with 18 assists in a 78-63 win over Illinois State (2/11).
Marc Sonnen set his career-high with six assists vs. the Redbirds, while Deon Mitchell tied his career-high with five helpers vs. Illinois State.
The previous high mark this season came when the Panthers handed out 16 assists vs. Northern Colorado.
PANTHERS TIE SEASON 3-POINT MARK IN BARRAGE VS. ILLINOIS STATE
UNI tied its season-high with 12 made 3-pointers in its 78-63 win over Illinois State (2/11).
UNI also made 12 3-pointers at Creighton (1/10).
UNI has had six games this season with double-figures of made 3-pointers. UNI is 4-2 in those contests.
2012 BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS
UNI will take part in the 2012 Battle for Atlantis Tournament on Thanksgiving weekend next season. The tournament will take place on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
UNI will be joined in the tournament by Duke, Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota, Missouri, Stanford and VCU.
ARCH MADNESS TICKETS ON SALE
All-session tickets to the 2012 Arch Madness State Farm Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis next March went on sale Dec. 15.
All-session tickets are $155 and $130 each in the lower bowl and $115 in the upper bowl at Scottrade Center and are good for all nine games of the tournament, slated for March 1-4. Tickets can be purchased at the Scottrade Center box office, at Ticketmaster outlets in the St. Louis region or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. There will be an additional service fee per ticket.
Fans and alumni of Valley schools can also contact their institution’s ticket office to inquire about priority seating within that school’s section.
This year’s tournament marks the 22nd consecutive year that Arch Madness has been held in St. Louis. All 10 Valley teams will be competing for the MVC championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
FOLLOW THE PANTHERS ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER
Fans of UNI Athletics on Facebook and Twitter will have access to in-game updates, score recaps and special announcements.
UNI Athletics on Facebook will give fans the chance to connect with other Panther fans, as well as providing information on upcoming events. Followers on Twitter will be able to access up-to-the-minute score updates and news about the Panthers on their computer or mobile device.