The U-N-I Panthers hope to regain their shooting touch tonight when they take on Missouri State in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis. The Panthers are 22-8 overall but closed the regular season with four straight conference losses. Missouri State is 20-7 and the Bears beat the Panthers in Cedar Falls a couple of weeks ago.
U-N-I coach Greg McDermott says Missouri State is one of the hottest teams in the conference right now. The Panthers have lost some close games the past few weeks but McDermott likes their chances at crunch time with Ben Jacobsen. He says five of their seven conference losses they had the ball in their hand with a chance to win it. He says he’d take Jacobsen in that situation any time and he says the other coaches probably don’t want to see him in that situation.
At 20-7, Missouri State has most likely played itself into the NCAA Tournament. Bears coach Barry Hinson says while U-N-I has lost some games as of late the Panthers have not lost their confidence. Hinson says the Panthers will be fired up and “are not a wounded dog in any way, shape or form.” The teams split their regular season games with each winning on the road.