The UNI Panthers try to hold on to sole possession of the Missouri Valley Conference lead when they host Bradley on Wednesday night in Cedar Falls. The Panthers are 6-1 in the Valley after rolling to an 81-59 win at Drake and coach Ben Jacobsen says he is not concerned with a letdown after his team played so well in Des Moines.
Jacobsen says if anything, his team should gain some confidence, and be ready to play on Wednesday. Bradley is a game back at 5-2 and Jacobsen says the Braves will provide a tough test. He says they play good pressure defense and make it tough to run the offense and they also have the ability to attack offensively.
UNI opened the season with a 6-5 record and while Jacobsen felt the Panthers would improve he had no idea they would get off to this kind of start in the league race. Jacobsen says he couldn’t have looked at it and known, but he says the fact that they have improved and are playing well is not a surprise.
Bradley coach Jim Les says while UNI’s hot shooting has gotten plenty of attention their play on defense has been overlooked. Les says the Panthers are a sound defensive team that also takes care of the basketball, which leads to success. The 6-1 start is UNI’s best since joining the Missouri Valley Conference.