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Marc Sonnen
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
Marc Sonnen
UNI MBB Game Notes vs. Drexel
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Wednesday 03/15/2012

Game #34: UNI at Drexel
Sun., March 18 - 11 a.m. (Eastern)
Daskalakis Athletic Center  - Philadelphia, Pa.
TV: ESPN
Radio: Panther Sports Network

The UNI Panthers (20-13 overall) will stay in the city of Philadelphia and will take on the Drexel Dragons (28-6 overall) Sunday in the second round of National Invitational Tournament (NIT). The game will tip at 11 a.m. (ET) on ESPN.

TIPPING OFF...

  • UNI is making its fourth straight appearance in postseason play. UNI was in the NCAA Tournament in 2009 (first round) and 2010 (Sweet 16). UNI reached the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in 2011.
  • With its 67-65 win at Saint Joseph's, UNI earned its 20th win of the season. It marks the fourth consecutive 20-win season for the Panthers - the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • This marks UNI's first-ever appearance in the NIT. All 10 MVC schools have now made at least one appearance in the NIT. Every MVC school that has played a game in the NIT has won at least one game in the tournament.
  • The Valley owns seven NIT titles -- Saint Louis (1948), Bradley (1957, 1960, 1964, 1982), Tulsa (1981) and Wichita State (2011).
  • MVC Freshman of the Year Seth Tuttle scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in UNI's 67-65 win at Saint Joseph's. Tuttle drained two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to account for the two-point victory.
  • UNI junior Anthony James was named to honorable mention All-MVC squad for the second straight season. James leads UNI in scoring at 12.9 ppg.
  • UNI freshman Seth Tuttle was named the MVC Freshman of the Year.
  • Tuttle leads the MVC in field goal percentage (.644). No freshman has ever led the league in field goal percentage.
  • Deon Mitchell and Tuttle were named to the MVC All-Freshman team.
  • Tuttle was also named to the MVC All-Newcomer team.
  • Tuttle became the seventh UNI Panthers in the Division I era to record a 300-point season. Tuttle has recorded 316 points this season to rank No. 6 on the Panthers' freshman scoring chart.
  • UNI's Chip Rank and Austin Pehl were named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete teams. Rank earned first-team status, while Pehl notched honorable mention status.
  • Rank also was named to the MVC All-Bench team.
  • UNI has won 18 or more games in nine straight seasons. 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.
  • UNI returned 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 129-69.
  • 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).


SCOUTING DREXEL
Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pa. ... the Dragons are members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) ...  Drexel is led in scoring by Frantz Massenat (13.7), Damion Lee (12.5), Samme Givens (11.1) and Chris Fouch (10.8) ... Drexel is led by head coach Bruiser Flint ... Drexel started the season 2-4, but has since won 26 of 28 (including 20 of the last 21) ... the Dragons' only loss in their last 21 games in the CAA title game vs. VCU (59-56) ... Drexel is 14-0 at home this season ... Drexel has won 17 straight home games - the 7th-longest active streak in the country ... Drexel advanced to the second round of the NIT with an 81-56 win over UCF on March 14.

RADIO INFORMATION
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. 

MVC TELECONFERENCE
On Monday, March 12, at 10 a.m. (Central), there will be a men's basketball call featuring the league's head coaches selected for post-season play.  The Q&A segments with the coaches are 10 minutes long (instead of the usual six minutes).  Speaking order will be determined.  That number is 877-441-0939.
    Please contact The Valley to arrange participation via long distance telephone -- through TBG Conferencing -- in the weekly sessions.  Media will be allowed to ask questions directly of the coaches. 
    Contact Mike Kern at the Missouri Valley Conference office (314-421-0339) with any questions about the teleconference.

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.

4TH STRAIGHT POSTSEASON APPEARANCE
UNI is making its fourth straight postseason appearance, which is the longest streak in school history. The previous best of three straight appearances was set in 2004-2006 and 2009-2011.
    NOTE: See the chart on pg. 43 for all of UNI's postseason appearances.

FIRST-EVER NIT APPEARANCE FOR UNI
Prior to this season, MVC schools had made 65 appearances (while they have been league members) in the NIT. This marks UNI's first-ever appearance in the NIT. Every MVC school that has played a game in the NIT has at least one victory in the tournament.
    All 10 MVC schools have now made at least one appearance in the NIT. Evansville made two trips to the NIT (1988 and 1994) prior to joining the MVC.

MVC SCHOOLS IN THE NIT'S HISTORY
School (Appearances)    Record    Last Appearance
Bradley (21)    26-18    2007
Creighton (10)    5-10    2009
Drake (3)    1-3    1986
Evansville (2)    1-2    1994
Illinois State (12)    9-11    2012
Indiana State (2)    1-2    1997
Missouri State (9)    10-9    2011
Southern Illinois (9)    8-8    2008
UNI (1)    1-0    2012
Wichita State (12)    8-11    2011

VALLEY ENJOYS SUCCESS IN THE NIT
The Valley owns seven NIT titles -- Saint Louis (1948), Bradley (1957, 1960, 1964, 1982), Tulsa (1981) and Wichita State (2011).

UNI VS. TEAMS IN NCAA AND NIT FIELDS
UNI has six wins this season over team in the NCAA and NIT fields. UNI is 3-6 vs. teams in the NCAA field and 3-2 vs. team in the NIT field.
    UNI's wins over NCAA Tournament teams include Creighton, Colorado State and Iowa State.
    UNI's wins over NIT teams include Saint Joseph's, Illinois State and Iowa.

TUTTLE BECOMES 7TH UNI FRESHMAN TO REACH 300-POINT MARK
UNI freshman forward Seth Tuttle became the seventh UNI Panthers in the Division I era to record a 300-point season. Tuttle has recorded 316 points this season to rank No. 6 on the Panthers' freshman scoring chart.
    Jason Reese holds the school record for freshman scoring with 395 points in the 1986-87 season.

UNI Freshmen w/ 300 Points in Single Season (UNI's Division I Era)
Jason Reese (1986-87)    395 pts
Randy Kraayenbrink (1982-83)    384 pts
Maurice Newby (1986-87)    378 pts
Chris Foster (2001-02)    364 pts
Eric Coleman (2004-05)    342 pts
Seth Tuttle (2011-12)    316 pts
Ben Jacobson (2002-03)    315 pts

KING TUTT-LE HITS FOR A CAREER-HIGH VS. SAINT JOSEPH'S
UNI freshman forward Seth Tuttle scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in leading UNI to a 67-65 win at Saint Joseph's in the first round of the 2012 NIT.
    Tuttle had eight points at the half and exploded for the Panthers first nine points of the second half.
    Tuttle scored on a putback with 18.9 seconds to give UNI a 65-63 lead. He then put the finishing touches on the win by draining two free throws with 1.3 seconds left for the final two-point margin vs. Saint Joseph's.

SEASON-HIGH IN REBOUNDING
UNI recorded a team-high 41 rebounds in its 67-65 win at Saint Joseph's (3/14).
    The last time UNI secured 41 rebounds came in a 60-54 win over Iowa State on Dec. 1, 2010 in the McLeod Center.
    The last time UNI recorded 40 or more rebounds on the road - came Feb. 24, 2009, in a 69-67 double-overtime road win at Illinois State.

SERIES HISTORY VS. DREXEL
Sunday's game will mark the first-ever meeting between UNI and Drexel.

FOUR COMMON OPPONENTS
UNI and Drexel have each played four common opponents this season - Saint Joseph's, Bradley, VCU and Old Dominion.
    UNI scored wins at Saint Joseph's (67-65), vs. Bradley (64-55) and at Old Dominion (63-46). The Panthers dropped matchups at Bradley (78-67) and at VCU (77-68).
    Drexel tallied victories over Bradley (73-68), VCU (64-58) and two wins over Old Dominion (73-72 and 68-51). The Dragons lost to Saint Joseph's (62-49) and vs. VCU in the CAA title game, 59-56.

TUTTLE NAMED MVC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
UNI's Seth Tuttle has been named the MVC Freshman of the Year.
    Tuttle led the MVC in field goal percentage (64.4 percent). Tuttle is averaging 9.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per contest this season.
    Tuttle becomes only the second UNI Panther to be named the Freshman of the Year in the league. Eric Coleman earned the same honor in 2004-05.

MITCHELL, TUTTLE NAMED TO MVC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
UNI freshmen Deon Mitchell and Seth Tuttle were each named to the MVC All-Freshman team for their play in the 2011-12 season.
    Mitchell has played in all 33 games for the Panthers and is averaging 7.1 points per game. Mitchell has started 23 games this season and has scored in 31 of the 33 games he has seen action. Mitchell scored a career-high 18 points and dished out six assists at VCU (2/17) in front of a national TV audience (ESPN2).
    Tuttle shot 50 percent or better in 27 of the 33 games he has seen action this season. Tuttle was a three-time MVC Newcomer of the Week honoree in 2011-12. Tuttle has recorded four double-doubles this year.

UNI on MVC All-Freshman Team
Chris Foster - 2001-02
Ben Jacobson - 2002-03
Brooks McKowen - 2003-04
Eric Coleman - 2004-05
Johnny Moran - 2008-09
Deon Mitchell - 2011-12
Seth Tuttle - 2011-12

TUTTLE ALSO NAMED TO MVC ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM
UNI freshman Seth Tuttle was also named to the MVC All-Newcomer squad for the 2011-12 season.
    Tuttle becomes the third Panther freshman to be named to both the All-Freshmen and All-Newcomer teams. Ben Jacobson (2002-03) and Eric Coleman (2004-05) were previously named to the All-Freshman and All-Newcomer squads.

UNI on MVC All-Newcomer Team
Randy Blocker - 1992-93
Sean Stackhouse - 1998-99
David Gruber - 2001-02
Ben Jacobson - 2002-03
Matt Schneiderman - 2002-03
Erik Crawford - 2003-04
Eric Coleman - 2004-05
Ali Farokhmanesh - 2008-09

RANK NAMED TO ALL-BENCH TEAM
UNI sophomore Chip Rank has been named to the MVC All-Bench Team for his play in the 2011-12 season.
    The All-Bench team is selected by the league's newspaper beat writers, and is comprised of a minimum of five student-athletes (top five vote-getters, plus ties) on each squad.
    Rank is the third Panther to earn MVC All-Bench honors. Travis Brown earned honor once, while Lucas O'Rear was a two-time All-Bench honoree.

UNI on MVC All-Bench Team
Travis Brown - 2008-09
Lucas O'Rear - 2008-09, 2009-10
Chip Rank - 2011-12

RANK, PEHL NAMED TO MVC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE TEAMS
Chip Rank (Cedarburg, Wis.) and Austin Pehl (Cedar Falls, Iowa) have been recognized as members of the 2012 MVC Scholar-Athlete teams.
    Rank earned first-team status, while Pehl was named as an honorable mention selection. Rank carries a 3.66 GPA while double majoring in economics and business administration. Pehl has a 3.37 GPA with a double major in studio art and marketing/advertising.
    Rank has seen action in all 33 games and started once for the Panthers this season. Rank is averaging 6.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He ranks first on the team in 3-point field goal percentage (45.1 percent - 37-of-82). He is second on the team in field goal percentage (49.6 percent). Rank has recorded nine double-digit scoring efforts off the bench after having only one double-figure effort as a redshirt freshman last season. Rank scored the game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left in a 61-60 win over Missouri State (1/13). He scored a career-high 15 points at Bradley (1/15). Rank has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 straight games.
    Pehl has played in 31 games and is averaging 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 13 points in leading UNI to an 84-48 win over Loras (12/19). Pehl also scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds in a 69-62 win at Iowa State (11/30).

JAMES EARNS HONORABLE MENTION ALL-MVC STATUS FOR 2ND STRAIGHT YEAR
UNI junior guard Anthony James was named to the honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference team for the second straight season.
    James leads the Panthers in scoring in 2011-12 at 12.7 points per game. James reached double-figure scoring in 21 games this season, including five contests of 20 or more.
    James hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat No. 13-ranked Creighton, 65-62 on Feb. 4.

MORAN TIED FOR PLAYER WINS
Senior guard Johnny Moran has tied former point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe (2006-2011) for most games played won for the Panthers. Moran and Ahelegbe are tied at 91 apiece in their careers.

MORAN SETS UNI GAMES PLAYED RECORD
No UNI Panther has played in as many games as senior Johnny Moran. Moran has taken the floor 134 times in his UNI career to set the Panther record for games played.
    Moran surpassed Kwadzo Ahelegbe's 133 games played mark when he took to the floor in UNI's opening-round 67-65 win over Saint Joseph's in the NIT.
    Moran has seen action in 134 of a possible 136 games in his Panther career. His 134 games started is also a UNI record.

MORE MORAN MARKS
    Moran ranks No. 2 on the Panthers' all-time 3-pointers made list with 196 triples. Ben Jacobson (2003-06) set the UNI record with 203 made 3-pointers.
    Moran ranks No. 5 on the Panthers' all-time steals list with 150 steals.

TUTTLE'S LAST 14 GAMES
Over his last 14 games, Tuttle has taken charge and leads the Panthers in scoring at 12.7 points per game.
    Tuttle has scored nine points or more in 12 of the 14 games. He has reached double-figure scoring in eight of the 12 contests, including a career-high 23 points at Saint Joseph's.
    In the 14-game stretch, Tuttle is shooting 66.0 percent from the field (62-of-94) and has grabbed a team-high 84 rebounds (6.0 rpg).  

KOCH IS AN ALL-AROUND PERFORMER
UNI junior forward Jake Koch is one of only 11 players in NCAA Division I basketball to have 30 or more 3-pointers made (36), offensive rebounds (36), assists (84), blocks (33) and steals (30) this season.

30-Plus 3-Ptrs.-Off. Reb.-Assts.-Blks.-Stls.
Keith Clanton, UCF - (37-95-60-34-59)
Robert Covington, Tennessee St. - (63-95-47-52-44)
Jae Crowder, Marquette - (56-51-59-69-30)
Quincy Ford, Northeastern - (35-49-39-60-31)
Kenny Gabriel, Auburn - (44-56-33-35-72)
Ken Horton, C. Connecticut State - (43-73-45-67-38)
LaDontae Henton, Providence - (44-88-36-32-33)
Jake Koch, UNI - (36-36-84-33-30)
Mike Moser, UNLV - (42-89-79-62-32)
John Shurna, Northwestern - (85-41-83-36-52)
Alex Young, IUPUI - (59-59-69-50-32)
Stats are thru March 11, 2012

NO. 73 IN RPI
UNI is ranked No. 73 in the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI.
    UNI is 3-5 against the Top 50. UNI's top-50 wins came against Creighton, Iowa State and Colorado State.
    UNI's non-conference strength of schedule ranks No. 14.

62 OR LESS
UNI is 14-3 this season when holding the opposition to 62 points or less. UNI is only 6-10 when allowing 63 points or more.

DEFENSE AND REBOUNDING = KEYS TO SUCCESS
UNI head coach Ben Jacobson harps on defense and rebounding when it comes to success of the Panther basketball team and the numbers don't lie.
    When UNI outrebounds its opponent, the Panthers are 12-3 this season. However, when the opponent wins the rebounding battle, the Panthers are only 8-9.
    When the Panthers defend and hold the opposition to a lower shooting percentage, the Panthers are 15-3 this year. However, when the opposition shoots a higher percentage, the Panthers are only 5-10.

JAMES LEADS THE UNI SCORING ATTACK
Junior guard Anthony James has come off the bench in his last nine appearances, but leads the team in scoring on the season at 12.7 points per game.
    James has reached double-figure scoring in 21 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 (45.1 percent). He ranks No. 2 on the team in field goal percentage (49.6 percent).
    Rank has made at least one three-pointer in 11 straight games heading into the UNI's second-round NIT matchup against Drexel.
    Rank has tallied nine 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 W & L
UNI is 20-13 on the season with some stark contrasts in the numbers between the wins and the losses.
    In UNI's 20 wins, the Panthers are averaging 69.9 points per game and giving up 57.8 points per game.
    In UNI's 13 losses, the Panthers are averaging 58.1 points per game and giving up 68.0 points per game.
    UNI is shooting 45.8 percent in its 20 wins, but that number drops to 38.9 percent in its 13 losses.
    UNI has made 41.6 percent of its 3-point shots in its 20 wins, but only 34.3 percent of its 3-point shots in its 13 setbacks.

KOCH DRAINS 'EM FROM THE LINE
Junior Jake Koch currently ranks No. 7 on the Panthers' all-time free throw percentage list. Koch has made 216-of-268 career free throws for a mark of 80.6 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 Sunday's game against Drexel having made at least one made three-pointer in 393 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.

18-PLUS WINS IN 9 STRAIGHT SEASONS
UNI has won 18 or more games in nine straight seasons. UNI captured its 18th win of the season vs. Bradley (2/22).
    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
2011-12 - 20-13


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