Evansville (9-6) at Northern Iowa (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McLeod Center (6,650) -- Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Television: PSN. Home Record: Evansville 8-2, UNI 6-1. Away Record: Evansville 1-4, UNI 2-2. Neutral Record: Evansville 0-0, UNI 0-4. Conference Record: Evansville 2-1, UNI 1-2. Series Record: Evansville leads, 21-19.
GAME NOTES: In a Missouri Valley Conference showdown, the Purple Aces of Evansville have made their way to Cedar Rapids to take on the Northern Iowa Panthers.
Last Saturday, Evansville claimed an 85-68 win over Southern Illinois, marking the 100th conference win in the head coaching career of Marty Simmons, which includes stops at Wartburg and SIU Edwardsville. In the victory, all four senior starters (Ned Cox, Lewis Jones, Colt Ryan and Troy Taylor) scored in double figures, the first time that had happened in their careers.
Overall, the Purple Aces are led in scoring by Ryan (15.5 ppg) and Cox (11.0 ppg). The man on the glass has been Troy Taylor, who is averaging 7.5 rpg. Evansville has been playing an unselfish game all year. With an assist-to- turnover ratio of 1.44, the team ranks 14th in the nation while its turnover margin (+3.7) has it 25th. The Aces also turn the ball over an average of just 11.5 times per game, which ranks 30th in the nation. Furthermore, the Purple Aces have been credited with an assist on 64 percent of their baskets, that total ranking first in the MVC and 16th in the country.
Evansville holds a 21-19 lead in the all-time series with Northern Iowa, and the Purple Aces have won the last three matchups. Evansville is only 1-5 in six contests at the McLeod Center. In fact, UNI has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two in Cedar Falls.
Senior guard Anthony James became the 35th player in UNI history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark. James scored 19 points and knocked down a season-best four 3-pointers in UNI's 70-60 win at Illinois State. Sophomore forward Seth Tuttle scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while shooting 8-of-9 from the field in the win, helping him earn recognition as the MVC's Player of the Week.
Northern Iowa ranks 27th in the nation in free throw percentage (.753) through the first 15 games of the season. They are the No. 2-ranked free throw shooting in team in the MVC, trailing Creighton (.757). Tuttle leads UNI with 11.4 ppg while ranking second with 6.0 rpg. Jake Koch has been the top Panther on the boards with his 6.3 rpg, while also blocking a team-high 19 shots.
With the way they take care of the ball and their balanced scoring attack, expect the Purple Aces to continue their winning streak against the Panthers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Evansville 77, Northern Iowa 73
01/09 10:37:13 ET