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College Basketball: UNI opens home MVC schedule against Evansville



This news story was published on December 31, 2021.
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CEDAR FALLS – UNI men’s basketball will ring in the new year on Sunday afternoon, hosting the Evansville Purple Aces in the first home Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) game of the 2021-22 season.

The Panthers return to action after a pair of two-point losses to Liberty and Wyoming last week at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Noah Carter led the Panthers with a season-high 20 points against the Flames, with 15 points from Nate Heise and 13 points by AJ Green. Against the Cowboys, Heise led UNI with a career-high 19 points and season-high three steals. Austin Phyfe scored 18 points, as Tytan Anderson led the Panthers with nine rebounds.

Evansville (4-8) visits Cedar Falls in their first game since a 75-73 loss at Southeast Missouri on Dec. 8. The Purple Aces are 0-1 in MVC play following a 54-52 loss at home against Southern Illinois on Dec. 1 to open league play.

Senior guard Shamar Givance leads Evansville with a team-high 15 points per game, shooting 46% from the field, and 3.8 assists a game. The All-MVC Third Team preseason selection ranks 2nd in the league in free throw attempts (59) and 3rd in made shots from the line (37).

Jawaun Newton has averaged 14 points a game with a team-high 6 rebounds in Evansville’s first 12 games this season. The senior guard leads the Purple Aces with 19 made three-pointers and is averaging just over 34 minutes per game on the floor, third most in the MVC behind only Marcus Domask of Southern Illinois and UNI’s AJ Green.

Sunday’s matchup at the McLeod Center marks the 60th all-time meeting between UNI and Evansville with the Panthers leading the series 32-28. UNI has won six of the previous eight games against the Purple Aces.

PANTHER NOTES
Since joining the MVC in 1991-92, the Panthers are 16-14 in their home conference opener.
The Panthers have won nine straight home games against Evansville, their longest active home winning streak against MVC opponents.
Austin Phyfe is 71 points from passing his father, Steve Phyfe, in career points scored for the Panthers. Steve Phyfe, who played at UNI from 1987-90 and was part of the program’s first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament team in 1990, scored 912 career points for the Panthers, ranking 55th in program history.
The Panthers are averaging 12.8 personal fouls per game, the fourth lowest average in the entire nation.
AJ Green ranks second in minutes per game (34:43) in the MVC, the 55th best average in the NCAA.
AJ Green leads the Missouri Valley Conference in career three-point field goals among active players with 206. Drake’s D.J. Wilkins ranks second with 200.
Tywhon Pickford leads active MVC players in career rebounds with 604. Trae Berhow and Garrett Sturtz of Drake are tied for second with 536, while Austin Phyfe is fourth with 531.

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