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No. 23 Shockers welcome UNI into Valley play

December 30, 2012
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF (sports@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

WICHITA, Kan. - The Shockers handed the Hawkeyes their first loss of the season.

The Panthers were beaten by Iowa at their own game earlier this month.

The Northern Iowa men's basketball team will need to reclaim its identity from behind the arc when they battle Wichita State to open Missouri Valley Conference play at Charles Koch Arena Sunday at 5 p.m. The game is available on MVC TV and through radio on the Panthers Sports Network.

Racing to a 9-0 start and a No. 23 spot in the AP poll, the Shockers (11-1) have won 14 straight games on their home floor dating back to last season, the 11th longest active streak in the nation.

The Panthers (7-5), will look to replay their role as home-wreckers after they snapped George Mason's 14-game home-court win streak earlier this season. To knock off the reigning MVC regular season champs, UNI will need another hot shooting performance after firing 50 percent from the field (25-50) and 43.8 percent (7-16) from deep in their most recent outing, an 82-75 victory over Saint Mary's at home.

Northern Iowa is averaging 81.6 points per game in their seven wins, but just 55.0 in their five losses. Wichita State is allowing just 58.5 points per game and held the Hawkeyes 16 points below their season average in a 75-63 win in Cancun last month.

Fact Box

Northern Iowa (7-5) at Wichita St. (11-1)

Today, 5 p.m.

At Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, Kan.

TV: Fox Sports Midwest

The Shockers are limiting opponents to just 30.3 percent from behind the arc, which was an area that haunted the Panthers when they hit just 3 of 16 3-point attempts against Iowa (11-2) at the Big 4 Classic in Des Moines.

Deon Mitchell leads a balanced Panther attack that wields four players averaging double figures. The sophomore guard is pouring in 12.4 points per game, while Anthony James (10.8), Seth Tuttle (10.4) and Jake Koch (10.3) are close behind. Koch also is grabbing 6.8 rebounds per outing, while Marc Sonnen is scoring just below double figures at 9.8 and ranks 29th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.7 percent.

Carl Hall guides the Shockers with 13.9 points per game and 7.6 rebounds, while Cleanthony Early is scoring 13.1. Wichita State's lone loss of the year came on the road against Tennessee in a 69-60 setback Dec. 13. The Shockers have won two straight including a 59-51 victory over Southern Miss in their most recent contest.

Wichita State is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 8.6 boards, while also forcing 8.5 steals a game.

UNI owns a 25-20 advantage in the all-time series, though Wichita State swept last season's pair of meetings including an 82-57 rout in Wichita.

Northern Iowa opens the new year against Indiana State at home Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 
 

 

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