The UNI basketball team jumped out to a 10-2 lead and never trailed as the Panthers defeated North Dakota 77-66 in an opening round game in the CollegeInsider-dot-com tournament last night. The Panthers led by as many as 19 and North Dakota never got any closer than 9 points in the second half.
UNI coach Ben Jacobson says they were really sharp the first 30 minutes and then they had a few possessions where they had some empty possessions and let them try to get back into the game. The Panthers had not played in nearly two weeks, but didn’t show any signs of rust offensively, as they connected on nine three-pointers and hit 51 percent of their shots from the field.
Jacobson says they go through this every year where the conference tournament ends and then they have to get restarted in the postseason. He says the seniors have been in the postseason every year, so they know how to handle it.
Anthony James led UNI with 24 points, while Seth Tuttle and Marc Sonnen both scored 19. James says some good practices led to a strong performance from the Panthers.
The Panthers will play again on Saturday night in another home game at the McLeod Center against an opponent to be determined. Jacobson says that with a short turnaround, the Panthers will have to focus on improving before Saturday.
By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls