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Northern Iowa (3-3) at Milwaukee (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 3, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Arena (10,783), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: TWC Sports. Home Record: UNI 1-0, Milwaukee 1-1. Away Record: UNI 0-2, Milwaukee 4-1. Neutral Record: UNI 2-1, Milwaukee 2-0. Conference Record: UNI 0-0, Milwaukee 0-0. Series Record: Northern Iowa leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: Out on the road for the sixth time in their first seven games, the Northern Iowa Panthers involve themselves in a crucial cat fight at U.S. Cellular Arena tonight against the Milwaukee Panthers in non-conference action.
UNI, which isn't scheduled to face a Division I opponent at home this season until Dec. 10 (Savannah State), has just returned from the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas where it claimed two wins in three attempts. The most recent outing last week was a 65-50 victory over the La Salle Explorers in order to even its overall record on the campaign at 3-3.
As for Milwaukee, the team is celebrating one of the best Novembers in program history, winning seven of the first nine outings of the campaign. Over the weekend the team took down Kansas City in an 84-79 final at Municipal Auditorium. With the victory these Panthers have already won four non- conference road tests, the most since the 2004-05 season. What's more, Milwaukee is now within one win of matching the program's entire total from 2012-13.
According to Milwaukee sources, the all-time series currently favors UNI by a count of 5-2 following a 72-61 win for this evening's visitors last season.
Ahead by just three points at the break against the Explorers last week, Northern Iowa turned up the pressure at both ends of the floor in the second half in order to pull off the 15-point win. The Panthers not only shot 54.2 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes, the squad also held La Salle to just 8-of-28 (.286) from the floor in the frame as well. Nate Buss led all scorers with 23 points, adding 12 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench, while Seth Tuttle tacked on 15 points, five boards and five assists for the group.
After six games, Tuttle is leading a quartet of double-digit scorers with his 13.7 ppg, accounting for a team-best 7.3 rpg which makes his 2-of-11 effort beyond the arc somewhat forgivable. Deon Mitchell checks in with 13.5 ppg and is also first with 23 assists, but he too is having trouble on the perimeter (3-of-11), although that is not the case for Buss (9.7 ppg) who has made good on 8-of-13 on the outside.
Milwaukee led by as many as 17 points in the first half against Kansas City, but the visitors lost momentum at the break and ended up falling behind in the second half before slipping by for the victory. Jordan Aaron carried the load for the Panthers with a game-high 33 points on 7-of-10 shooting beyond the arc and 10-of-14 from the floor overall. Kyle Kelm and Matt Tiby stepped up with 13 and 12 points, respectively, the former accounting for six rebounds and five assists in order to offset six turnovers. As a team, Milwaukee fumbled the ball away 19 times on the night.
Heading into the meeting with Kansas City, the Panthers featured four players scoring in double figures, with Tiby sitting atop the list with his 14.5 ppg. More than just a scorer, Tiby was also first with close to eight rebounds per outing and was tied for the lead with 25 assists. Austin Arians (13.0 ppg) was the top perimeter shooter for the group through eight games with a solid 40.5 percent accuracy.
The chances of Aaron having another breakout game tonight like the one he had in the last outing for Milwaukee are rather slim, but if nothing else, you can be assured that the Panthers will still come up with the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Milwaukee 73, Northern Iowa 70
12/03 10:37:12 ET
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