UNI host Southern Illinois in men’s basketball game

UNI Men’s Basketball vs. Southern Illinois

  • 7pm CT | February 9
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa | McLeod Center (6,650)
  • ESPN+ (Brad Wells: Play-by-Play / Kevin Lehman: Analyst)
  • 1540 KXEL: Panther Sports Radio Network (Gary Rima: Play-by-Play / Kevin Boyle: Analyst)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — UNI men’s basketball looks to continue its hot streak Wednesday night as the Panthers host the Southern Illinois Salukis at 7 p.m. at the McLeod Center. UNI coaches will wear black outfits and special pins in recognition of Equality and Inclusion Night, promoting awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion in sport.

The Panthers return home from a thrilling 74-69 overtime win over state rival Drake on Saturday in Des Moines. Riding the longest active winning streak in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) at 4 games, the second place Panthers are looking to complete the regular season sweep of Southern Illinois. In Saturday’s game, UNI battled an early 10-point deficit, hitting the basket on offense and picking up 11 offensive rebounds in the process. The Panthers slowed Drake’s offense beyond the three-point arc, keeping the Bulldogs 19.2 percent from range. In a game that featured 13 lead changes, Noah Carter led the night with a game-high 23 points, shooting 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Trae Berhow scored 16 points in the win, as Tywhoon Pickford recorded a season-high 8 points and 12 rebounds. Nate Heise, Bowen-born and AJ Green all scored 7 points, with Heise grabbing 6 boards and Green delivering a pair of assists. Born had a season-high 4 interceptions on defense.

Southern Illinois visits Cedar Falls after a 75-69 win over Illinois State over the weekend. The Salukis led the Redbirds for most of the game, led by a career-high 31-point performance from Lance Jones, who shot 10 of 14 from the field with 5 three-point field goals. Marcus Domask scored 18 points with a team-high 6 rebounds, while Ben Coupet Jr. scored 12 points for SIU.

UNI edged out the Salukis in Carbondale on Jan. 15 at the Banterra Center, when the Panthers edged past SIU in a close 69-68 duel. AJ Green led UNI with 22 points, 11 coming from the charity stripe, while Noah Carter had 17 points and 7 rebounds. Nate Heise contributed 11 points to the Panthers’ winning efforts with 7 boards.

The Salukis lead the all-time series 38-33, although the Panthers have 4 of the previous 6 matchups. Since last meeting in January, UNI have gone 4-2 in 6 games played, while SIU have only won 3 of 8. The Panther offense is averaging 76.6 ppg during that streak, while the Salukis only scored 59.5 points. In a series that has featured tightly contested games, 4 of the last 6 matchups have been decided by a single possession, including the previous 2 games by a total of 4 points.

PANTHER NOTES

  • After starting the season 4-7, the Panthers have won 8 of their last 10 games, and 9 of their last 11 after starting the season 4-7.
  • UNI is averaging 81.0 points per game against conference opponents inside the McLeod Center this season.
  • The Panther defense has limited visiting MVC opponents to just 29.9% shooting in home games this year.
  • Noah Carter scored at least 15 points in 10 of UNI’s 12 conference games this season, including a career-high 33 points at Valparaiso.
  • AJ Green ranks 2nd in the MVC in league points per game (20.2). Noah Carter is 4th in the MVC with 17.9 points per game in conference play only.
  • Tywhoon Pickford, Trae Berhow and Austin Phyfe hold three of the top four spots among active MVC players in career rebounds. Pickford leads the league with 648 career rebounds, with Berhow in 3rd with 588 and Phyfe in 4th with 547. Drake’s Garrett Sturtz ranks 2nd with 630 rebounds.
  • Trae Berhow is one three-pointer away from becoming 3rd all-time in three-pointers in UNI history. Berhow is currently tied with Ben Jacobson (2002-06) with 203 career shots from beyond the arc.
  • AJ Green leads the conference in minutes per game (35:39) in the MVC, the 35th best average in the NCAA.
  • Austin Phyfe is 30 points behind his father Steve in career points scored for the Panthers. Steve Phyfe, who played at UNI from 1987-1990 and was a first-team NCAA Division I Tournament player in 1990, scored 912 career points for the Panthers, ranking 55th in program history.

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