Northern Iowa (2-2) vs. Maryland (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sports and Fitness Center (4,000) -- St. Thomas, Virginia Islands. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Northern Iowa 1-0, Maryland 1-1. Away Record: Northern Iowa 0-2, Maryland 0-0. Neutral Record: Northern Iowa 1-0, Maryland 1-1. Conference Record: Northern Iowa 0-0, Maryland 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In the semifinals of the Paradise Jam the Northern Iowa Panthers will square off with the Maryland Terrapins at the Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas.
Northern Iowa punched its tickets to the round with a 90-81 victory over Loyola Marymount on Friday night. Three players scored at least 20 points in the win with Seth Tuttle also turning in a double-double. The win was the second of the year for the Panthers, who have traded wins and losses in their first four games.
Maryland took out Marist, 68-43, in the opening round of the in-season tournament on Friday night. It was the second time this year the Terps had held an opponent to fewer than 50 points. Maryland is also sitting at 2-2 on the young season without having won or lost consecutive games during the early going.
The winner of this contest will face off with either Providence or La Salle, depending on the outcome of that matchup on Sunday, for the tournament title. The loser of each contest will be paired off to determine the third-place finisher.
Deon Mitchell scored 23 points and handed out five assists, Matt Bohannon nailed five triples and finished with 22 points and Tuttle had 21 points to go with 11 rebounds for Northern Iowa on Friday. The Panthers led by as many as 23 points in the contest despite being outscored, 34-22 , in the paint.
Although they rarely rely on such offensive outbursts as they had on Friday, the Panthers are fortunate enough to have four players scoring in double figures. Mitchell (14.8 ppg) is the leader on the roster thanks to some efficient shooting inside of the arc. Mitchell has only three 3-pointers but is shooting at a 55.6 percent from the field overall. Chip Rank (13.5 ppg) is the gunner from the perimeter with a 10-of-27 showing from 3-point range on the year. However, he managed only eight points on 2-of-7 shooting on Friday. Bohannon (13.0 ppg) can also fill it up from 3-point distance and Tuttle (12.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) anchors the team in the frontcourt.
Maryland made up for its own uneven play on offense against the Red Foxes with some dominating defense. The Terps allowed just 13 field goals to Marist, while keeping their foe to just 26 percent shooting from the field. Maryland also forced 19 turnovers and owned a 43-35 edge on the glass.
There are also four players scoring in double figures for the Terps this year. Jake Layman (15.8 pp, 6.3 rpg) answers the call as the go-to offensive option. Layman is a forward that can really stretch the floor as he his connecting on 52 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. Layman rattled in four 3-pointers and recorded a game-high 16 points in the win over Marist. Charles Mitchell (12.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is the second leading scorer and top rebounder, despite playing 20.5 minutes per game off the bench. Mitchell finished with 12 points and eight rebounds as a reserve on Friday. Providing depth on the offensive end are Dez Wells (12.3 ppg) and Evan Smotrycz (11.0 ppg).
The Panthers could present a real challenge for the Terps, especially if Rank can find his shot from beyond the arc. However, Maryland has proven to be a deft defensive squad and will be able to handle the Panthers' scorers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Maryland 73, Northern Iowa 64
11/24 10:32:57 ET