UNI Looks to Knock Off Nationally-Ranked Creighton

Courtesy: University of Northern Iowa Athletics

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By James Steward

Game #17: UNI at Creighton
Tues., Jan. 10 - 8 p.m. (Central)
CenturyLink Center - Omaha, Neb.
TV: ESPN3
Radio: Panther Sports Network

The UNI Panthers (12-4, 2-2 MVC) men’s basketball team will travel to Omaha, Neb., to take on the Creighton Bluejays (13-2, 3-1 MVC) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the CenturyLink Center.

TIPPING OFF...
• For only the third time since the series began with Iowa, Iowa State and Drake - UNI has gone 3-0 against its in-state Division I rivals. UNI eventually posted a perfect 4-0 mark against the trio in the 1997-98 and 2009-10 seasons. This season, UNI scored an 80-60 win over Iowa, a 69-62 win at Iowa State and an 83-68 win at Drake.
• Creighton leads the all-time series vs. UNI, 26-15. Creighton won two of three from the Panthers last year - including a matchup in the quarterfinals of the 2011 State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Louis. UNI has won two of its last three meetings in the CenturyLink Center.
• Junior guard Anthony James leads the Panthers in scoring at 14.4 points per game. James has reached double-figure scoring in 13 games, including four contests of 20 or more points. James is coming off a 26-point effort in the Panthers’ 83-68 win at Drake on Saturday.
• Senior guard Johnny Moran made a pair of 3-pointers in Saturday’s win at Drake to move his career total to 168 made 3s. Moran moved past Darian DeVries (166 3s from 1995-98) and into third place on the Panthers’ all-time 3-pointers made list.
• Junior guard Marc Sonnen has scored in double figures on nine occasions this season, including a streak of three straight double-figure scoring games. Sonnen is averaging 9.3 points per game this year, but in four MVC games Sonnen has upped his scoring to 12.0 ppg.
• Junior forward Jake Koch buried 13-of-14 free throws and scored 18 points in UNI’s 83-68 win at Drake. Koch leads the Panthers in free throw shooting at 83.3 percent on the season, as he has buried 60-of-72 at the line.
• UNI reached 80-plus points for the fourth time this season in Saturday’s 83-68 win at Drake. UNI improved to 18-1 all-time under coach Ben Jacobson when scoring 80 or more points. UNI has won 13 straight games when scoring 80 or more points.
• UNI is 12-4 on the season with some stark contrasts in the numbers between the wins and the losses. In UNI’s 12 wins, the Panthers are averaging 72.8 points per game and giving up 57.4 points per game. In UNI’s four losses, the Panthers are averaging 56.5 points per game and giving up 68.5 points per game. UNI is shooting 48.2 percent in its 12 wins, but that number drops to 35.0 percent in its four losses.
• 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 121-61.
• 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 is in a four-way tie for first place in the MVC standings with Wichita State, Illinois State and Missouri State ... all four teams are 3-1 in league action ... Creighton lost its league opener at home to Missouri State (77-65) ... Creighton’s only other loss came at St. Joseph’s (80-71 on Dec. 10) ... the Bluejays are led in scoring by the Valley’s top scorer - Doug McDermott at 25.2 ppg ... point guard Antoine Young is averaging 11.5 ppg ... Creighton and UNI both bested Iowa this season ... Creighton scored an 82-59 win over the Hawkeyes in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena, while UNI pasted the Hawks in Cedar Falls, 80-60.

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 ALL-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 All 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.

BROADCAST INFO FOR TUESDAY’S UNI-CREIGHTON GAME
Tuesday’s game between UNI and Creighton will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Scott Warmann (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) will call the action courtside in the CenturyLink Center.

SERIES HISTORY VS. CREIGHTON
Creighton leads the all-time series vs. UNI, 26-15. Creighton won two of three from the Panthers last year - including a matchup in the quarterfinals of the 2011 State Farm MVC Tournament in St. Louis. UNI has won two of its last three meetings in the CenturyLink Center.

PANTHERS CLAIM MYTHICAL STATE TITLE
For only the third time since the series began with Iowa, Iowa State and Drake - UNI has gone 3-0 against its in-state Division I rivals. UNI posted a perfect 4-0 mark against the trio in the 1997-98 and 2009-10 seasons.
This season, UNI scored an 80-60 win over Iowa, a 69-62 win at Iowa State and an 83-68 win at Drake.

JAMES LEADS THE UNI SCORING ATTACK
Junior guard Anthony James leads the Panthers in scoring at 14.4 points per game. James is coming off a 26-point effort in the Panthers’ 83-68 win at Drake on Saturday.
James has reached double-figure scoring in 13 games, including four contests of 20 or more points. James has now recorded eight 20-plus scoring efforts in his UNI Panther career.

SONNEN RISING
Junior guard Marc Sonnen has scored in double figures on nine occasions this season, including a streak of three straight double-figure scoring games. Sonnen is averaging 9.3 points per game this year, but in four MVC games Sonnen has upped his scoring to 12.0 ppg.
In his previous two seasons, he had tallied five double-figure scoring games. This year, Sonnen has already had nine double-figure scoring contests.

KOCH TO THE LINE
Junior forward Jake Koch buried 13-of-14 free throws and scored 18 points in UNI’s 83-68 win at Drake. Koch leads the Panthers in free throw shooting at 83.3 percent on the season, as he has buried 60-of-72 at the line.

UNI AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS SINCE 2001-02
UNI has posted a mark of 8-10 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 last year’s NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers last win over a ranked opponent on the road came in the 2006-07 season when UNI scored a 63-59 win at No. 16-ranked Wichita State.

UNI vs. Ranked Opponents (since 2001-02)
#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

80 AND UP
UNI reached 80 or more points for the fourth time this season when it posted an 83-68 win at Drake.
UNI is 18-1 all-time when scoring 80 or more points under coach Jacobson. The Panthers have won 13 straight games when scoring 80 or more points.

UNI SCORING 80+IN JACOBSON ERA
Date Opponent Results
1/7/12 at Drake W, 83-68
12/19/11 Loras W, 84-48
12/6/11 Iowa W, 80-60
12/3/10 Colorado State W, 83-77
3/15/11 Rider W, 84-50
2/15/11 at Bradley W, 80-70
1/9/11 Bradley W, 83-77
11/16/10 Coe W, 84-45
1/3/10 Missouri State W, 84-76
12/12/09 Siena W, 82-65
11/23/09 vs. Boston College W, 81-69
2/11/09 Southern Illinois W, 81-55
1/17/09 at Drake W, 81-59
12/28/08 Indiana State L, 85-84 (2OT)
11/25/08 Chicago State W, 81-70
12/15/07 Wartburg W, 99-48
12/20/06 Wartburg W, 83-61
12/09/06 UMKC W, 85-53
11/13/06 vs. Pepperdine W, 83-58

PANTHER BENCH PROVIDES A GOOD LIFT
The Panther bench has provided quite a spark this season providing 21.1 points per game.
Freshman guard Deon Mitchell came off the bench for the first time in his collegiate career against Evansville and posted 14 points for the Panthers.
Mitchell added eight more points in the 65-48 win over Indiana State as he came off the bench for the second straight game.
Mitchell posted eight more points in an 83-68 win at Drake.
In his three games coming off the bench, Mitchell is averaging 10.0 ppg.

MOVING UP THE RANKS
Sophomore forward Chip Rank ranks No. 2 on the team in field goal percentage (50.0 percent) and in 3-point field goal percentage (45.9 percent).
Rank has tallied five double-figure scoring efforts this season, including 11 points off the bench at Illinois State (12/29).
Last season, Rank reached double-figure scoring only once as a true freshman - 14 points against George Mason.

MORRISON FROM DEEP
Sophomore guard Matt Morrison leads the Panthers in 3-point accuracy at 47.6 percent (10-of-21).

HIGH ACCURACY FOR TUTTLE
Freshman forward Seth Tuttle leads the Panthers in field goal shooting through 16 games with an impressive 63.0 percent from the field. Suttle has made 46-of-73 shots from the field this season.
Tuttle had a three-game stretch of 12 straight made field goals against Providence, Iowa State and Colorado State.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING, LOSING
UNI is 12-4 on the season with some stark contrasts in the numbers between the wins and the losses.
In UNI’s 12 wins, the Panthers are averaging 72.8 points per game and giving up 57.5 points per game.
In UNI’s four losses, the Panthers are averaging 56.5 points per game and giving up 68.5 points per game.
UNI is shooting 48.2 percent in its 12 wins, but that number drops to 35.0 percent in its four losses.
UNI has made 43.3 percent of its 3-point shots in its 12 wins, but only 30.9 percent of its 3-point shots in its four setbacks.

MORAN CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
Senior guard Johnny Moran enters Tuesday’s game at Creighton needing 102 points to become the 34th UNI Panther to join the 1,000 Point Club.
Moran ranks No. 42 on the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with 898 points.
Moran has started in 117 games in his Panther career and needs four more starts this season to set the school record for most starts in a career. Ben Jacobson holds the UNI record for career games started at 120
Moran has also played in 117 games in his Panther career. Kwadzo Ahelegbe set the UNI record last season for games played with 133.

MORAN IS KNOCKING DOWN THREES
Johnny Moran ranks No. 3 on the Panthers’ all-time 3-pointers made list with 168 triples.
Nick Nurse (1986-89) ranks No. 2 with 170 made 3-pointers. Ben Jacobson (2003-06) set the UNI record with 203 made 3-pointers.

MORAN MOVING UP THE GAMES STARTED LIST
Johnny Moran is also moving up the games started list at UNI. Moran has started 117 games in his Panther career and ranks T-No. 2 for all-time starts as a Panther.
Brooks McKowen (2003-07) also ranks second on the starts list with 117. Ben Jacobson (2003-06) set the UNI record for games started at 120.

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 197-of-240 career free throws for a mark of 82.1 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 Tuesday’s game at Creighton having made at least one made three-pointer in 375 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.

WARMIN’ UP ON THE ROAD
For the first time this season, UNI shot above 50 percent in a road/neutral contest when the Panthers drained 55.3 percent of its shots at Drake.
UNI’s previous best road/neutral shooting performance this season came in a 63-46 win at Old Dominion (11/12), when the Panthers made 49.0 percent of its shots.

ROAD/NEUTRAL WARRIORS
UNI is 5-2 in road/neutral games this season. However, the Panthers are shooting only 43.6 percent from the field in those contests.

NOT SO MANY 3-POINTERS
UNI attempted a season-low eight 3-pointers in its 83-68 win at Drake. UNI also made a season-low four 3-pointers against the Bulldogs.
Prior to its performance against Drake, UNI’s season-low for 3-pointers made was five vs. Western Carolina (11/22) and fewest attempted was 15 against Indiana State (1/4). In both of those contests, UNI was victorious.

DEFENSIVE PRIDE FOR THE PANTHERS
UNI prides itself on its defensive effort and the 2011-12 version of the squad is no different. UNI is allowing 60.2 points per game on defense. UNI has held 10 of its 16 opponents to 62 points or less this season.

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, online (click here) [direct link is not active until Dec. 15], 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.

WEEKLY PRESS LUNCHEONS
UNI head coach Ben Jacobson or a member of his coaching staff will be available at the weekly Press Luncheons held each Monday beginning at noon in the back room of Pepper’s Grill and Sports Pub located on 18th Street in Cedar Falls.

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
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