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Panther men’s basketball takes on Evansville in final early MVC matchup

UNI looks for its first true road win of the season against the Purple Aces on Saturday afternoon in southern Indiana. Televised on ESPN+ at 1 PM.

CEDAR FALLS – UNI men’s basketball will look to even its Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) record on Saturday afternoon as the Panthers visit the Evansville Purple Aces in its first league road game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at the Ford Center in southern Indiana.

Northern Iowa, which scored a 22-point win over Stanford to close out the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis one week ago, struggled on Wednesday night at home in its MVC opener, falling to the Belmont Bruins in a 90-70 decision. The Panthers were unable to slow down Belmont’s three-point shooting and struggled to rebound the ball, particularly in the second half.

Trey Campbell led UNI with 13 points in the loss, shooting five-of-ten from the floor with three triples. Michael Duax recorded a season-high 12-point game as Tytan Anderson tallied eight points and a team-leading seven rebounds. Nate Heise posted a seven-point outing and a team-high four assists, with Bowen Born also scoring seven points, and both Jacob Hutson and Kyle Pock scoring six points each.

Through seven games, Heise leads UNI with 13.8 points per game, with Anderson leading the purple and gold off the glass with 6.3 rebounds a game. Anderson is also three rebounds shy of surpassing 400 boards in his career, while scoring at least one point in 39 consecutive games, the longest streak among active Panthers. Hutson has notched 9.7 points and Born 8.7 points per game, while Campbell has tallied 8.1 points a game after starting the previous four games. Campbell is just four points shy of reaching 300 in his career.

UNI is 80-10 (.888) under head coach Ben Jacobson when scoring 80+ points, and have won 18 of its last 21 games when scoring 80 or more points.

With UNI’s next victory, Ben Jacobson can pass former Creighton and Saint Louis coach Eddie Hickey for second-place on the Missouri Valley Conference’s (MVC) all-time wins list with 338. Former Oklahoma State coach Henry P. Iba is the MVC’s all-time wins leader with 486 victories.

The 2023-24 season has seen a strong start for the Purple Aces under second-year head coach David Ragland. For the first time as a Division I program and first time since winning the Division II national championship in 1964-65, Evansville began a season 6-0. The Purple Aces dropped their MVC opener on Wednesday night in a high-scoring affair at Missouri State, 90-78.

Evansville was selected to finish 11th in the MVC preseason poll, with fifth-year guard Kenny Strawbridge Jr. voted Preseason Second Team All-MVC. The Purple Aces enter Saturday’s matchup as the league leader in fastbreak points per game (14.7) and are one of the nation’s top teams in forcing turnovers, forcing their opponents into 16.7 giveaways a game. Evansville is also the most penalized team in the league, committing 15.3 fouls per contest.

Ben Humrichous leads Evansville in scoring (18.3 PPG), three-point shooting (47%) and blocks (12) in a well rounded Purple Aces’ offense, while Chuck Bailey III has averaged 11 points a game. Strawbridge is notching ten points per game with Yacine Toumi leading Evansville off the glass with 5.6 rebounds per game.

UNI men’s basketball (2-5 / 0-0 MVC) at Evansville (6-1 / 0-1 MVC)

Dec. 2, 2023 | 1 p.m. CT
Evansville, Ind. | Ford Center (11,000)
ESPN+ (Kyle Peach: Play-by-Play / Rick Johnston: Analyst)
Panther Sports Radio Network (J.W. Cox: Play-by-Play)

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