The UNI women are at home tonight to host Missouri Valley Conference leader Illinois State. The Panthers are 4-3 in the Valley after snapping a three game losing skid with a victory at Wichita State on Sunday.
Panther coach Tony DiCecco says his team had gotten back to playing the type of defense they’re capable of playing. DiCecco says they need to work on building a home court advantage. After playing their home games in the cramped West Gym for a number of years they moved into the larger McLeod Center this season.
DiCecco says it’s a whole different surrounding for practice and games this year and they’re trying to get used to it. He says the West Gym was a place that was hard for other teams to play in. UNI is 10-8 overall. Illinois State is 7-0 in the Valley and 14-7 overall.
The Drake women bid for their first Valley win tonight when they host Wichita State. The Bulldogs are fighting through a season in which they have lost their top scorer and point guard to injuries.
Drake coach Amy Stephens says she constantly gets asked about keeping the team motivated, but she says that’s not hard because of the players and the fact they understand their circumstances.
The Bulldogs nearly broke through last week but dropped a pair of heartbreakers on the road. Stephens says they continue to play hard and give a good effort.
Drake is 5-12 overall.