CEDAR FALLS – The UNI men’s and women’s basketball teams open the new season in a Monday night doubleheader beginning at 5 PM.
Coming off a 32-point exhibition win over Dubuque on Wednesday, UNI men’s basketball will officially tip off the 2022-23 season on Monday night at home against the Division III Wartburg Knights at the McLeod Center.
Ten different Panthers scored as UNI defeated Dubuque in its lone preseason exhibition earlier this week, 84-52 led byTytan Anderson’s 15-point performance. James Betz scored 13 points for UNI as Cole Henry notched an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double. Drew Daniel sank three baskets from beyond the arc in the win, while Trey Campbell and Landon Wolf both posted 9-point games.
The Panthers are 10-6 in season opening games under head coach Ben Jacobson and have won their last six contests against the Knights dating back to the 1988-89 season. The matchup is the first of seven non-conference games the Panthers will play at home this November and December.
UNI enters the 2022-23 season as the reigning Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) champion following a 20-12 regular season record and an appearance in the NIT last March. Wartburg, picked second in this year’s American Rivers Conference (ARC) preseason poll, finished last season with a 16-10 mark with a 9-7 record in league play, falling in the opening round of its conference tournament to Loras College.
UNI returns 11 members of last year’s championship team, including MVC Sixth Man of the Year Bowen Born, who earned Preseason Second Team All-MVC honors last month. The Panthers also bring back third year guards in Anderson and Nate Heise, plus third year forward Henry. UNI added four young freshmen to the roster in the offseason in Cedar Falls products Trey Campbell and Hunter Jacobson, as well as Lumberton, North Carolina native Charlie Miller and Turkish guard Ege Peksari.
Ben Jacobson kicks off his 17th season at the helm of the program, fresh off his record fifth MVC Coach of the Year honor this past year. With 321 career wins, Jacobson ranks fourth in MVC history in total wins, and third in conference only victories with 174.
Meanwhile, the women’s team starts their 2022-24 campaign against the St. Thomas Tommies.
UNI will look to win their third straight season-opening game on Monday afternoon. The Panthers will get an earlier start as part of a doubleheader with men’s basketball to begin the week. Tickets to the women’s game at 5 p.m. will get you into the men’s game against Wartburg at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all UNI home basketball games are available for purchase online at UNIpanthers.com/tickets.
– The 2022-23 UNI Panther women’s basketball team kicks off their regular season by welcoming the St. Thomas Tommies to Cedar Falls for the first time in program history.
– UNI played St. Thomas for the first time in program history last year in St. Paul. It was the Tommies’ first year as a Division I program with the Panthers being the second MVC team to play in program history.
– The Panthers have won their opening game of the regular season three out of the past five seasons. Those wins include tilts against St. Louis, North Dakota State, and Delaware. The Panthers were not able to complete wins against Iowa and IUPUI, both of which would be postseason teams in their respective seasons.
– UNI has a challenging non-conference schedule ahead of them in November and December. Six of those foes (Iowa State, Creighton, Tulane, Vanderbilt, South Dakota State, and Iowa) played in
postseason tournaments last year with four ranked in the Associated Press Preseason Poll (No. 4 Iowa, No. 8 Iowa State, No. 21 Creighton, and No. 23 South Dakota State).
– St. Thomas is led by Head Coach Ruth Sinn into their second year of NCAA Division I play after a 7-21 campaign, including a 4-14 mark in the Summit League, last season.
– The Tommies bring back nine returners, including three starters, and welcome in six newcomers. Seniors Jordyn Glynn and Maggie Negaard, along with sophomore Jade Hill, were each consistent starters a year ago.
– The first NCAA DI win in program history for St. Thomas came against South Carolina State, 65- 50, on Nov. 18 in Orangeburg, S.C. The Tommies will host their home opener Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. against the Bulldogs.
– The Tommies are led by Summit League All-Newcomer selections sophomore Jade Hill and graduate transfer Erin Norling. Hill averaged 36.15 minutes over 28 games and led the entire Summit League in minutes per game while averaging 13.6 points and 3.0 assists per game.