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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver Arena (11,442) -- Peoria, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: Northern Iowa 7-0, Bradley 7-4. Away record: Northern Iowa 1-6, Bradley 0-0. Neutral Record: Northern Iowa 2-2, Bradley 0-2. Conference Record: Northern Iowa 4-2, Bradley 2-4. Series Record: Bradley leads, 27-24.
GAME NOTES: The Northern Iowa Panthers and Bradley Braves are both coming off wins in their last outings, but each could use a string of wins in order to get back in the thick of Missouri Valley Conference competition as they clash at Carver Arena.
Northern Iowa won its last matchup with Missouri State, 94-89, and has now won three of its last four games. The Panthers are 4-2 in MVC play this season - two games behind leader Wichita State.
Although Bradley notched a 66-60 win over Southern Illinois in its latest contest, the Braves are experiencing a rough patch in their season. Bradley is 2-10 in its last 12 games played, and is 2-4 to start conference play this season.
Bradley holds a slight all-time series advantage against Northern Iowa, 27-24, including 17-6 in Peoria. However, Northern Iowa has won five straight against the Braves.
Northern Iowa shot a season-best 67.4 percent from the floor in the team's victory over Missouri State in its last outing. In his first collegiate start for the Panthers, Nate Buss scored a career-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor. Seth Tuttle chipped in 21 points for the Panthers, while Matt Bohannon added 13 and Wes Washpun contributed 11. Washpun added six assists to his stat line in the contest. Not only did Northern Iowa shoot 67.4 percent from the field, but the team also connected on 61.9 percent from 3- point range.
Tuttle paces the team in scoring this season with a 13.8 ppg average on 47.4 percent shooting from the field. He also leads the team in rebounding at 7.9 rpg and with 20 blocked shots through 18 games. Deon Mitchell is behind Tuttle in scoring at 12.7 ppg, and Buss increased his scoring total to 11 ppg after the 26-point effort. The Panthers as a group average 72.7 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting.
Southern Illinois shot over 50 percent in the game against Bradley, but the Braves were able to force 14 turnovers in the victory over the Salukis in MVC play. Walt Lemon Jr. led all Bradley scorers with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting, and contributed a team-high eight assists. Both Mason Alwan and Auston Barnes each chipped in 12 points in the win. The Braves connected on 49 percent of their shots from the floor.
Lemon leads the team in scoring this season at 16.8 ppg on 41.8 percent shooting from the field. He also paces the squad with 75 assists on the season, but has turned the ball over 70 times as well. Tyshon Pickett is second in scoring at 11.8 ppg, with Omari Grier third and not too far behind at 11.4 ppg. Pickett tops the team in rebounding at 7.6 rpg. The Braves as a unit have averaged 63.9 ppg through 19 games played.
Northern Iowa defeated Bradley earlier this season, 80-46, on the Panthers' home court. Although it's Bradley's turn at home, the Panthers still have the advantage in terms of roster depth and solid defenders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Iowa 76, Bradley 64
01/22 10:35:29 ET
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