After seeing their eight game winning streak end with a 72-69 loss at Drake on Saturday, the U.N.I. men’s basketball team faces a quick turnaround as they head to Evansville tonight. The Purple Aces have won six of their last eight games, and U.N.I. coach Ben Jacobson says that Evansville is really coming together.

He says Evansville has has this group together for a couple of years, and you can see it in the way they play their motion offense. Tonight’s game will be the Panthers’ second without leading rebounder Lucas O’Rear. Jacobson says that the Panthers will need to step up their effort on defense and on the boards to help fill O’Rear’s shoes.

Jacobson says they played well enough offensively to win, but needed to do a little more on defense and rebounding, and that falls on everybody. Jacobson adds that the team will also miss O’Rear’s presence off the basketball court.

Jacobson says there are many situations in the game and off the floor where he brings his personality to the team, and those things are going to be missed. Jacobson says that Cedar Falls native Austin Pehl is in position to see an increase in playing time with O’Rear out of the lineup. He says Pehl has done a good job and has earned more time. Tonight’s game in Evansville tips off at seven.

By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls