February 27, 2015

Panthers meet Wichita State on the road with conference title on the line

Seth Tuttle (file photo)

Seth Tuttle (file photo)

The 10th ranked UNI Panthers visit 11th ranked Wichita State on Saturday afternoon to close the regular season and the winner claims the Missouri Valley Conference title. Both teams are 16-1 in theValley.

“It’s the biggest game of the season, for multiple reasons. One, its for the conference title, two it’s on the road at Wichita State, I mean that’s pretty simple in itself. Three, it’s on their senior night, it’s on college game day, I mean I could keep going about it,” UNI senior foward Seth Tuttle said.

Tuttle scored 29 points as the Panthers rolled over the Shockers 70-54 in Cedar Falls in the first meeting. It snapped Wichita State’s 27 game Valley winning streak. “After getting the win here we know they are going to be ready to go. We know that that place is going to be a madhouse,” Tuttle says.

Tuttle says getting a win at Wichita will be an even tougher chore. “That would be big time for out team and for our team and our program,” Tuttle says.

The Shockers have won 31 straight games at home.

(Reporting by Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein)

 

Drake women look to finish February strong

The Drake women visit Wichita State today and the winner will have the inside track to the Missouri Valley regular season title. Both teams are 13-1 in the Valley and this will be a game of contrasting styles.

Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk says her team is a little more focused on offense. The Shockers have a big edge in experience. “They’ve been there, they’ve done that, they’ve had it for a couple of years, so that’s what their players know, and we don’t, we haven’t been in this situation,” she says.

Drake wants it to be a high scoring game while Wichita State wants to limit the number of possessions. Baranczyk says the players are thrilled to be part of a big game like this in the last week of February and the first week of March. She says they have done a nice job of finishing off February and heading into March in a time she says can be “magical.”

 

Iowa women finishing season with lots to play for

The Iowa Hawkeye women open the final week of the regular season with a game at home against Wisconsin. At 12-4, the Hawkeyes have a chance to secure a second place finish heading into the conference tournament.

“I don’t know what you can ask for that would be better than that,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder says. She says her team does not lack confidence despite losing road games at Minnesota and Ohio State last week. “I think our team has been positive, focused, upbeat and ready to go, and I think they are just excited to be at home, and it certainly helps coming back on our home court,” Bluder says.

Bluder says the players are aware of what is on the line this week including a byes in the Big Ten Tournament and a second place finish in the regular season. “I think they need to know those type of thing,” Bluder says.

Iowa is 21-6 overall. The Badgers are 4-12 in the league race and 8-18 overall.

 

Panthers win, set up title showdown in Wichita

UNI's mascot.

UNI’s mascot.

UNI’s win coupled with Wichita State’s victory at Indiana State sets up a title showdown on Saturday afternoon in Wichita. Jacobson says he hasn’t seen all the games on the schedule, but is confident in saying it will be the best game going Saturday.

Jacobson says the opportunity to play for the championship is one of the reasons the team has worked so hard. “To have yourself in the position where you are lining it up for a conference championship, and you are doing in a place that’s going to be sold out, and you’re doing it on ESPN, and you’re doing it with Game Day there, It’s terrific,” he says.

Jacobson says winning in Wichita will tough. “It’s as good as every one of those places I’ve seen on TV and it’s as good as all the places that I’ve been to that I really love. Without question, it’s one of the top ten places to play in the entire country. It’s as good as it get,” according to Jacobson.

UNI is 16-1 in the Valley and 27-2 overall.

Cyclones blow chance to tie for conference lead

ISU-logoIowa State went ice cold down the stretch and the Cyclones home winning streak is over at 21. 19th ranked Baylor rallied from 8 down in the second half to beat the 12th ranked Cyclones 79-70.

“I feel terrible because these people come out and support us in the cold, snow, sleet, so for them to see a loss at home really hurts. But I can promise them that we are going to end the year strong,”s junior forward Georges Niang said Niang who finished with 14 points. ISU built an eight point second half lead before the Bears took control by hitting seven straight three pointers.

The Cyclones came up short in their bid to tie Kansas for the Big 12 lead. “I don’t know if we got a little satisfied after the last week that we had with those last two road wins, I just didn’t see that same urgency or fire out of our guys that we had this past week to do everything that it took to win games on the road,” ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said.

The Cyclones fall to 10-5 in the Big 12. It is the first time a Baylor team has won at Hilton Coliseum. “Give them credit, they played 40 minutes. We got up 8, I don’t know if we got a little comfortable when we got that 8-point lead — they obviously made the plays and we didn’t,” Hoiberg said.

Jameel McKay led the Cyclones with 21 points. They are now 20-7 overall and visit Kansas State on Saturday.

 

 

Hawkeyes win hard fought game with Illinois

tiger hawkAaron White had a career high 29 points as the Iowa Hawkeyes claimed a third straight win with a hard fought 68-60 victory over Illinois in Iowa City. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says he wanted to give White a rest, but says he was “on fire” and did not look tired at all. McCaffery felt their 1-2-2 halfcourt trap kept the Illini from getting in rhythm on offense.

He says their understanding of when to pressure and when not to allowed them to play good defense and not give up shots at the rim.

The Hawkeyes improve to 9-6 in the Big Ten and with one win in their final three games will clinch the program’s first winning Big Ten record since 2007.

 

Drake Relays pole vault event moving outside

Drake-Relays-logoA popular Drake Relays event is moving outside and downtown. After being held at the Jordan Creek Town Center for several years the pole vault competition is moving to Court Avenue.

Drake Relays director Brian Brown says Microsoft has a kiosk in the middle of the mall the mall operator told them last year they would not be able to use the mall this year, but he says next year they will be able to return to the mall.

Brown says the runway will be placed between 3rd and 4th streets. “The streets are not perfectly leveled as we know, so to put a runway down there, to level everything off, to survey and make sure that it is a certified meet is going to be the biggest challenge,” Brown says.

Brown says it is a move that was supported by Court Avenue businesses. He says everyone he’s talked to there is supportive of the event. The pole vault competition will be held on April 22nd.