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Marc Sonnen
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications
Marc Sonnen
UNI to Entertain No. 13-Ranked Creighton
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Sunday 02/02/2012

Game #25: UNI vs. #13/#12 Creighton
Sat., Feb. 4 - 4 p.m. (Central)
McLeod Center - Cedar Falls, Iowa
TV: MVC TV
Radio: Panther Sports Network

The University of Northern Iowa Panthers (15-9, 5-7 MVC) men’s basketball team will take on the No. 13 (AP)/No. 12 (Coaches) ranked Creighton Bluejays (21-2, 11-1 MVC) at 4 p.m. Saturday in the McLeod Center.

TIPPING OFF...
• Since the 2001-02 season, UNI is 6-2 at home against ranked opponents.
• UNI has defeated Iowa (2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06), Creighton (2003-04), Southern Illinois (2003-04) and Bucknell (2005-06) at home as ranked opponents.
• Overall UNI is 3-4 against ranked MVC opponents since the 2001-02 season.
• UNI held Creighton to a season-low point total of 63 points when the teams met on Jan. 10 in Omaha, Neb.
• UNI freshman point guard Deon Mitchell delivered a career-high 17 points in leading UNI to a 58-49 win over the Southern Illinois Salukis on Tuesday.
• UNI freshman forward Seth Tuttle leads the MVC in field goal percentage at 66.1 percent.
• Over his last five games, freshman forward Seth Tuttle is averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game, shooting 75.0 percent (24-of-32) from the field and 82.6 percent (19-of-23) from the foul line.
• UNI senior guard Johnny Moran enters Saturday’s game vs. Creighton needing 39 points to become the 34th UNI Panther to join the 1,000 Point Club.  Moran ranks No. 36 on the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with 961 points.
• When UNI outrebounds its opponent, the Panthers are 9-2 this season. However, when the opponent wins the rebounding battle, the Panthers are only 6-6.
• When the Panthers defend and hold the opposition to a lower shooting percentage, the Panthers are 13-1 this year. However, when the opposition shoots a higher percentage, the Panthers are only 2-8.
• UNI 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.
• UNI returns eight letterwinners and three starters from last year’s Panther squad that posted a mark of 20-14.
• UNI’s streak of three consecutive 20-win seasons is the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference.
• Head coach Ben Jacobson is in his sixth season at the helm of the Panther program having posted a career mark of 124-66.
• 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 CREIGHTON
Creighton comes to Cedar Falls riding an 11-game win streak, the nation’s sixth-longest current win streak ... the Bluejays opened MVC play with a loss at home to Missouri State (77-65), but have since reeled off 11 consecutive wins ... Creighton is 5-0 on the road in league play this season ... Creighton is led by Doug McDermott, who is averaging 23.6 ppg ... senior point guard Antoine Young is scoring at 11.0 ppg.

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. 

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 SATURDAY’S UNI-CREIGHTON GAME
John Rooney (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) will call the contest.
    The telecast will be cleared live on FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports Indiana Plus and FOX Sports Kansas City (combined 5.9 million homes), FOX College Sports (56 million digital homes), Comcast SportsNet Chicago (4.759 million homes), ESPN3 (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska), DirecTV (Channel 671), Dish Network (Channel 418) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 748).
    Due to the Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers game on FOX Sports Indiana, FOX Sports Indiana Plus will clear the telecast in Evansville (Insight Channel 2 and WOW Channel 7), Fort Wayne (Comcast Channel 9), Indianapolis (Bright House Channel 81 and Comcast Channel 81), Newburgh (Time-Warner Channel 23) and Terre Haute (Time-Warner Channel 13).

SERIES HISTORY VS. CREIGHTON
Creighton leads the all-time series vs. UNI, 29-15. Creighton has won three straight games vs. UNI, including a 63-60 win in Omaha, Neb., on Jan. 10.
    UNI head coach Ben Jacobson is 4-8 all-time vs. Creighton.

UNI AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS SINCE 2001-02
UNI has posted a mark of 8-11 against ranked opponents since the 2001-02 season.
    UNI’s last win over a ranked opponent came against No. 1-ranked Kansas in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
    The Panthers last win over a ranked opponent at home came on Feb. 18, 2006, when UNI scored a 65-61 double-overtime win over Bucknell.

UNI vs. Ranked Opponents (since 2001-02)
#23    Creighton    L, 63-60 (A) - 2011-12
#10    Syracuse    L, 68-46 (A) - 2010-11
#13    Michigan State    L, 59-52 (N) - 2009-10
#1    Kansas    W, 69-67 (N) - 2009-10
#15    Marquette    L, 73-43 (N) - 2008-09
#14    Drake    L, 65-55 (H) - 2007-08
#22    Drake    L, 58-54 (A) - 2007-08
#11    Nevada    L, 79-64 (A) - 2006-07
#16    Wichita State    W, 63-59 (A) - 2006-07
#17    Washington    L, 70-61 (A) - 2006-07
#23    Georgetown    L, 54-49 (N) - 2005-06
#24    Bucknell    W, 65-61 (H) - 2005-06
#12    Iowa    W, 67-63 (H) - 2005-06
#17    Iowa    L, 76-73 (A) - 2004-05
#15    Southern Illinois    W, 68-52 (H) - 2003-04
#20    Creighton    W, 82-73 (H) - 2003-04
#24     Iowa    W, 77-66 (H) - 2003-04
#13    Creighton    L, 84-75 (H) - 2002-03
#11    Iowa    W, 78-76 (H) - 2001-02

HOME SUCCESS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Since the 2001-02 season, UNI is 6-2 at home against ranked opponents.
    UNI has defeated Iowa (2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06), Creighton (2003-04), Southern Illinois (2003-04) and Bucknell (2005-06).

UNI SEARCHING FOR INITIAL MCLEOD WIN OVER RANKED OPPONENT
UNI is 0-1 all-time vs. ranked opponents in the McLeod Center.
    The No. 14-ranked Drake Bulldogs posted a 65-55 win over the Panthers on Feb. 16, 2008.

UNI VS. RANKED MVC OPPONENTS
UNI is 3-4 against ranked MVC opponents since the 2001-02 season.

DEON DELIVERS
UNI freshman point guard Deon Mitchell delivered a career-high 17 points in leading UNI to a 58-49 win over the Southern Illinois Salukis.
    Mitchell drained 10-of-13 at the free throw line against the Salukis.

SECOND-HALF SURGE KEYS UNI WIN OVER SIU
UNI’s Deon Mitchell keyed a 14-5 second-half run that turned a 42-39 deficit into a 50-44 lead for the Panthers against the Southern Illinois Salukis (1/31).
    Mitchell drained a 3-pointer with 6:43 left to give the Panthers their first lead of the second half at 43-41. He then hit two free throws with 6:04 left to up the marging to four at 45-41.
    Mitchell then hit Johnny Moran with a pass in the corner and Moran buried the triple for a 48-44 advantage with 4:48 left. Moran then closed the run with another bucket with 4:06 remaining in the game.

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 19-5 on the season and 10-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. 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.

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 9-2 this season. However, when the opponent wins the rebounding battle, the Panthers are only 6-6.
    When the Panthers defend and hold the opposition to a lower shooting percentage, the Panthers are 13-1 this year. However, when the opposition shoots a higher percentage, the Panthers are only 2-8.
    UNI lost the rebounding battle to Missouri State, 38-32, and did not defend well enough against the reinging MVC player of the year Kyle Weems. Weems scored 20 points (18 in the first half) in a 63-51 win over UNI.
    “We needed to defend Weems better in the first half and rebound,” UNI head coach Ben Jacobson said. “Most nights we defend well and rebound, but we didn’t do that in the first half. We need to get better again. The last eight to 10 days we haven’t made the improvements we need to make.”

KEEP IT UNDER 70
UNI is 14-5 this season when holding the opposition to less than 70 points. The Panthers are 1-4 when allowing 70 or more points.

KING TUTT-LE IN HIS LAST FIVE
Over his last five games, freshman forward Seth Tuttle is averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game, shooting 75.0 percent (24-of-32) from the field and 82.6 percent (19-of-23) from the foul line.

TUTTLE CONTINUES HIS ACCURACY
UNI freshman forward Seth Tuttle leads the league in field goal percentage at 66.1 percent.
    Tuttle had a streak of 12 straight made field goals snapped when he missed his final shot of the game vs. Drake (1/22). Tuttle has had two stretches this season of 12 straight made field goals.
    Earlier this season, Tuttle had a three-game stretch of 12 straight made field goals against Providence, Iowa State and Colorado State.
    Tuttle is a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the 3-point arc as well this season.

UNI ON MVC-TV (FSN)
UNI has posted a mark of 25-17 in games broadcast on MVC TV and/or Fox Sports Net since the 2003-04 season.
    UNI has won 13 of its last 17 games on MVC-TV.
Date     Opponent     Score     Network
2/4/12    Creighton    --    FSN
1/13/12    Missouri State    W, 61-60    FSN
3/4/11    vs. Creighton    L, 63-60    FSN
2/26/11    at Creighton    L, 63-55    FSN
2/15/11    at Bradley    W, 80-70    FSN
1/19/11    at Wichita State    W, 77-74    FSN
12/29/10    Missouri State    L, 58-57    FSN
3/6/10    vs. Bradley    W, 57-40    FSN
3/5/10    vs. Drake    W, 55-40    FSN
2/16/10    Creighton    W, 70-52    FSN
2/13/10    at Bradley    L, 68-59    FSN
1/24/10    at Indiana State    W, 67-58    FSN
3/7/09    vs. Bradley    W, 76-62    FSN
3/6/09    vs. Indiana State    W, 73-69    FSN
2/28/09    Evansville    W, 69-62    FSN
1/31/09    at Indiana State    W, 61-57    FSN
1/10/09    Missouri State    W, 78-64    FSN
3/7/08    vs. Southern Illinois    W, 54-49    FSN
3/8/08    vs. Illinois State    L, 56-42    FSN
2/9/08    at Missouri State    L, 71-54    FSN
2/2/08    Southern Illinois    W, 68-63    FSN
1/20/08    Missouri State    W, 70-55    FSN
1/5/08    at Indiana State    L, 74-56    FSN
3/2/07    vs. Bradley    L, 51-48    FSN
2/10/07    Missouri State    L, 62-58    FSN
2/12/07    Creighton    L, 62-54    FSN
12/30/06    at Wichita State    W, 63-59    FSN
11/14/06    at Washington    L, 70-61    FSN
3/4/06    vs. Southern Illinois    L, 55-46 ot    FSN
3/3/06    vs. Missouri State    W, 57-42    FSN
2/22/06    Bradley    L, 71-49    FSN
2/11/06    Missouri State    L, 66-63    FSN
2/4/06    Indiana State    W, 83-56    FSN
1/21/06    Drake    W, 91-72    FSN
3/5/05    vs. Missouri State    L, 70-62    FSN
2/28/05    at Wichita State    W, 67-66    FSN
2/23/05    at Southern Illinois    L, 76-69    FSN
1/18/05    at Missouri State    W, 62-53    FSN
3/7/04    vs. Wichita State    W, 64-56    FSN
3/6/04    vs. Illinois State    W, 68-54    FSN
2/7/04    Indiana State    W, 68-64    FSN
1/31/04    at Southern Illinois    L, 63-53    FSN
12/20/03    at Illinois State    W, 64-61    FSN

DOUBLE DIGIT LEADS HAVE SLIPPED AWAY
UNI is 5-7 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 five of its seven 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.

MORAN SET TO MOVE UP ONE MORE SPOT ON UNI’S GAMES PLAYED LIST
Senior guard Johnny Moran will move into a tie for the No. 6 slot on UNI’s games played list on Saturday vs. Creighton.
    Moran currently sits in the No. 7 spot with 125 career starts. He will tie Kerwin Dunham (2007-11) on Saturday for No. 6 in all-time games played at UNI.   
    Grant Stout (2004-07) and Brooks McKowen (2004-07) both hold down the No. 4 spot on the Panthers’ games played with with 127.
    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 Saturday’s game vs. Creighton needing 39 points to become the 34th UNI Panther to join the 1,000 Point Club.
    Moran ranks No. 36 on the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with 961 points.   
       
MORAN IS KNOCKING DOWN THREES
Johnny Moran ranks No. 2 on the Panthers’ all-time 3-pointers made list with 181 triples.
    Moran knocked down three 3-pointers against Creighton (1/10) to move past Nick Nurse, who tallied 170 3-pointers from 1986-89.
    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 13.4 points per game. James has reached double-figure scoring in 17 games, including five contests of 20 or more points. James has recorded nine 20-plus scoring efforts in his UNI Panther career.

MOVING UP THE RANKS
Sophomore forward Chip Rank leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage (45.3 percent). He ranks No. 2 on the team in field goal percentage (51.7 percent).
    Rank has tallied six 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,
LOSING
UNI is 15-9 on the season with some stark contrasts in the numbers between the wins and the losses.
    In UNI’s 15 wins, the Panthers are averaging 70.6 points per game and giving up 56.7 points per game.
    In UNI’s nine losses, the Panthers are averaging 58.4 points per game and giving up 67.6 points per game.
    UNI is shooting 47.2 percent in its 15 wins, but that number drops to 37.6 percent in its nine losses.
    UNI has made 42.1 percent of its 3-point shots in its 15 wins, but only 33.0 percent of its 3-point shots in its nine 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-250 career free throws for a mark of 81.6 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 Saturday’s game vs. Creighton having made at least one made three-pointer in 383 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.

WINNING TRADITION AT MCLEOD
UNI has posted an all-time mark of 68-22 (.756) in games played in the McLeod Center. The McLeod Center was finished in November 2006.
    UNI is 10-3 at home this season in the McLeod Center. The Panthers have won 38 of their last 46 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.

THE UNDER 50 CLUB
When the UNI Panthers held the Southern Illinois Salukis to 49 points in the Panthers’ win on Jan. 31, 2012, it marked the 26th time in the Ben Jacobson head coaching era that the Panthers had held a team under 50 points. UNI is 25-1 in those contests.

OPP. HELD UNDER 50 PTS IN JACOBSON COACHING ERA
Date    Opponent    Results
12/12/06    at Bucknell    W, 57-48
11/9/07    vs. Northern Illinois    W, 75-45
11/27/07    at Iowa State    W, 61-48
12/15/07    vs. Wartburg    W, 99-48
12/29/07    at Bradley    W, 59-46
3/7/08    vs. Southern Illinois    W, 54-49
    (MVC Tournament)
12/6 /08    vs. North Dakota    W, 69-49
2/18/09    vs. Drake    L, 47-46
11/28/09    vs. Northern Illinois    W, 52-45
12/19/09    at North Dakota    W, 64-41
1/1/10    vs. Evansville    W, 65-46
1/6/10    at Southern Illinois    W, 61-49
1/9/10    at Illinois State    W, 59-44
1/16/10    vs. Indiana State    W, 62-40
2/10/10    at Drake    W, 57-48
3/5/10    vs. Drake    W, 55-40
    (MVC Tournament)
3/6/10    vs. Bradley    W, 57-40
    (MVC Tournament)
11/16/10    vs. Coe    W, 84-45
12/19/10    vs. SIU Edwardsville    W, 68-47
1/12/11    at Illinois State    W, 46-44
1/22/11    Drake    W, 69-49
11/12/11    Old Dominion    W, 63-46
11/22/11    Western Carolina    W, 59-39
12/19/11    Loras    W, 84-48
1/4/12    Indiana State    W, 65-48
1/31/12    Southern Illinois    W, 58-49


TICKET INFORMATION
Full-season ticket packages are available to see the Panther men’s basketball team in action at the McLeod Center. A total of 18 home games are on tap in 2011-2012.
    Single-game tickets for adults are $17, while youth single-game tickets are $13.
    Contact UNITix at 319-273-4849 for more information.

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.

FACEBOOK
www.facebook.com/UNIAthletics

TWITTER
www.twitter.com/UNIAthletics


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