U.N.I.’s defense was on display in the McLeod Center as the 25th ranked Panthers blew the game open in the second half in a 67-51 win over Drake. Panther coach Ben Jacobsen says a key was playing good defense without fouling, as Drake got to the free throw line only 10 times, and that’s the key to beating the Bulldogs.
The Panthers jumped out to a 34-24 lead at the half ands Jacobsen called it a hard fought game. He says the fact that Drake is playing well and it’s an in-state rivalry made his team play harder, along with the fact they were protecting their home floor.
Drake coach Mark Phelps on his postgame show on KRNT in Des Moines, says U.N.I. showed why they are ranked second in the country in scoring defense. He says the do a good job of protecting the paint and guarding dribble penetration and when you get the ball inside it is tough to score.
The loss snapped the Bulldogs’ five game winning streak as they fall to 5-5 in the Valley. U.N.I improves to 9-1 in conference play.