The Drake and UNI men collide for the second time this season when they matchup Wednesday night in the UNI-Dome. The Panthers are 8-6 in Missouri Valley play but at 17-8 overall coacg Greg McDermott believes his team could still earn an at-larege bid into the NCAA Tournament if they need one. He says as long as there’s still hope,they’ll continue to think about it and use it as a carrot to continue to progress. He says they still feel they’re in control of their own destiny.UNI will be out to avenge an 81-72 loss to the Bulldogs back on January 29th. He says, “they kicked our tails in Des Moines.” He says for one of the few times this year they were rattled in the second half and didn’t know how to respond. McDermott says Drake had a lot to do with that, but the team didn’t respond the way he heped they’d respond. McDermott expects a better effort out of his team tonight. He says they need a better plan and have to execute the plan better. He says Drake’s record is deceiving when you look at the close loses they’ve suffered. Drake coach Tom Davis says the Panthers have established themselves as one of the Valley’s elite teams. He says they’ve done a terrific job going back to last year’s conference tournament. Davis says the league is so balanced that UNI has suffered a couple of losses. Lonnie Randolph had 30-points for Drake in the first matchup with UNI but Davis says the Bulldogs have lacked a consistent go-to plater as evidenced by their 4-10 Valley mark. He says some nights Randolph has been terrific and other nights others have been terrific, but he says they haven’t had one person show they can play that way nigh in and night out in the league. Drake is 8-14 overall.
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