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College Basketball: UNI seeks sixth-straight win as it travels to Valparaiso

CEDAR FALLS – UNI men’s basketball eyes a sixth consecutive win as the Panthers travel to take on the Valparaiso Beacons in northwest Indiana on Wednesday night in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) action.

The Panthers visit Valparaiso following a narrow 69-68 road win at Southern Illinois on Saturday. UNI led the Salukis by 10 points at halftime, holding off a resurgent SIU offense in the second half to earn an MVC-leading fifth conference win. The Panthers made 19-of-23 free throw attempts, marking the third straight game of 19+ made free throws. AJ Green led UNI with a team-high 22 points, while Noah Carter surpassed 600 career points with a 17-point performance against the Salukis. Nate Heise scored 11 points with 7 rebounds, as Trae Berhow notched 6 points and 4 boards.

UNI won the first meeting this season against the Beacons, defeating Valparaiso 92-65 on Jan. 5 at the McLeod Center. The Panthers held the Beacons to a season-low 22 first half points in this season’s first matchup, and shot 47.8% from beyond the arc. Noah Carter tied his season-high in scoring with 20 points earlier this month, with Trae Berhow scoring 17 points on 5 three-point field goals with 6 rebounds. Tytan Anderson posted a career-high 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Nate Heise notched 10 points in the win.

Valparaiso has lost 4 consecutive games, including losses to Southern Illinois by 3 points and Loyola by 7 points. The Beacons enter Wednesday’s matchup at the Athletics-Recreation Center coming off a 74-57 loss at home to Missouri State. Junior guard Ben Krikke led Valparaiso with 14 points against the Bears, with Sheldon Edwards scored 9 points off the bench.
The Panthers hold a commanding 29-4 record against the Beacons since the first all-time meeting in 1979-80. UNI is 9-3 playing on the road at Valparaiso and 7-2 at the Athletics-Recreation Center since the Beacons joined the MVC in 2017-18.

6 p.m. CT | Jan. 19
Valparaiso, Ind. | Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)
ESPN+ (Andy Masur: Play-by-Play / David Kaplan: Analyst)
1540 KXEL: Panther Sports Radio Network (Gary Rima: Play-by-Play / Kevin Boyle: Analyst)

PANTHER NOTES
The Panthers’ 5 game winning streak is the longest for UNI since January/February 2020 when UNI won 6 straight games.
The Panthers are 5-0 this season when leading at halftime, and 9-2 when outrebounding the opponent.
UNI has averaged 79.6 points per game in 6 MVC games this season, 8 points more than against non-conference opponents.
Noah Carter has scored at least 15 points in every conference matchup this season, including a season-high 20 points against the Beacons earlier this month.
AJ Green leads the MVC in made free throws (69) and posts the second highest free throw percentage in the conference (87.3%).
AJ Green sits 30 points shy of joining the program’s 1,500 career point club. 7 other players in UNI men’s basketball history have ever scored 1,500 points.
Austin Phyfe is now 55 points from passing his father Steve Phyfe (1987-90) on the program’s all-time scoring list. Austin currently sits with 858 career points.

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