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Sycamores @ Panthers | NCAAB

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Sycamores @ Panthers | NCAAB

By Don Phillips

Indiana State Sycamores (13-15, 7-9) at Northern Iowa Panthers (17-12, 9-7)

8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
McLeod Center, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Television: ESPN3
Play-by-Play: Scott Warmann / Analyst: Kevin Lehman
Radio: Panther Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Gary Rima / Analyst: Kevin Boyle
Flagship – NewsTalk 1540-AM KXEL
On the Web –, TuneIn
Live Stats:

UNI’s starting five consists of Matt Bohannon, Paul Jesperson, Bennett Koch, Jeremy Morgan and Wes Washpun. Bohannon and Morgan are the two returning starters from last year’s 31-4 Panther squad. Jesperson started 33 career games at the University of Virginia before transferring to UNI. Prior to this season, Jesperson’s last start came at Virginia on March 27, 2013 vs. Iowa in the NIT.

Washpun started 29 games as a sophomore for the Panthers. His last start previous to the pair this season came March 7, 2014, in the MVC Tournament vs. Southern Illinois. Koch came off the bench in all 28 games he played as a redshirt freshman.

It’s not all about scoring this year, as UNI can also play some defense. UNI is allowing 64.7 points per game. In UNI’s 17 wins, the Panthers have limited the opposition to 59.7 points per game. You’ll find the Northern Iowa Panthers a 10-point home favorite at America’s Bookie.

The Panthers are 10-3 at home this season while the Indians State Sycamores have only won 2 of 12 on the road. In those road games, the Sycamores are averaging 69.1 points per game and allowing 77.5 points on defense. Northern Iowa have been a bit better on both ends of the court at home, scoring 70.6 per game, giving up only 61.8.

Looking at head to head trends when these two meet, they have played to the OVER in four of the last 5 meetings and eleven of the last 13 times they have played in Northern Iowa. When looking at the spread, the underdog is 24-8 the past 32 meetings between this two with the Sycamores going 4-1 ATS the last five times visiting the Panthers.

UNI has won nine or more MVC games in 13 consecutive seasons the longest active streak in the league. With one victory in its final two games, UNI would ensure its 13th straight season finishing in the upper half of the MVC.

UNI’s seeding possibilities range from No. 2 to No. 8 for the MVC Tournament set for March 3-6 in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center.

The Indiana State Sycamores have lost five games in a row and six of their last seven contests – including two overtime setbacks. The Sycamores began league play at 4-1 but have gone 3-8 in the MVC since a 74-60 victory over the UNI Panthers in the Hulman Center Jan. 13.

Indiana State is led in scoring by Devonte Brown (15.8 ppg), Brenton Scott (15.1 ppg) and Khristian Smith (10.5 ppg).

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Selection: Northern Iowa