Panthers

UPDATE: UNI gets road win at Illinois State, 70-60

2013-01-05T22:45:00Z 2013-01-06T15:00:41Z UPDATE: UNI gets road win at Illinois State, 70-60By CARSON TIGGES, carson.tigges@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

NORMAL, Ill. --- Saturday night at Redbird Arena was a who’s who of the top of the preseason Missouri Valley Conference poll.

With a combined 0-4 league record between the University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team and Illinois State, it was also a who’s who of which team desperately needed a win.

The Panthers were paced by 53 combined points from Seth Tuttle, Anthony James and Marc Sonnen, led the entire second half and held off a second-half charge from the Redbirds to steal a 70-60 road victory.

“We started off the week at Wichita and didn’t come out the way we wanted to. Coming back on the road against a good Illinois State team, I think we played our hardest for 40 minutes,” James said. “That’s the time we have to come together, become a brotherhood and we all did a great job of that tonight.”

An 11-0 run midway through the first half gave UNI (8-7, 1-2 MVC) control over a cold-shooting Illinois State team, and that lead — no matter how often it dwindled — was never completely given up.

The Redbirds (9-6, 0-3) cut the deficit to three with under four minutes to play, but, coming out of a timeout, Deon Mitchell made a play at the hoop and hit a free throw to start a 7-0 run.

“I don’t know if there’s anything magical you can say, but from a thought-process standpoint, you want to do anything you can to keep the lead,” Jacobson said noted from the timeout huddle. “You want to hold on to the lead. That’s where our guys did a good job all the way through.”

From there, Tuttle flushed home a dunk on the next possession and the Panthers hit 12 of their final 14 free throws.

When Illinois State had cut the lead to three earlier in the half with the score 46-43, Marc Sonnen came alive. Sonnen scored seven points in less than three minutes — a couple buckets coming off-balance and over the hand of a defender — and his 16 second-half points may have been the biggest reason UNI never lost its lead.

“He hasn’t been able to get free much over the last couple basketball games. The ones that he made, I wouldn’t say that he got free,” said Jacobson. “Illinois State did a good job of defending Marc, but he rose up and made a couple of tough shots. It’s probably a combination of a senior who has worked really hard, and anyone else who doesn’t like being 0-2.”

James and Tuttle each scored 19 points as James’ 3-pointer on the opening possession gave him 1,000 career points. Tuttle did his damage on 8 of 9 shooting and also pulled in a team-best nine rebounds in 39 minutes.

Meanwhile, the field-goal shooting wasn’t there for the Redbirds, who were without starting shooting guard Bryant Allen due to injury. Illinois State finished 2-for-18 from behind the arc and was never quite able to make a big play to fully seize momentum.

“Not having one of our shooters on the court probably hurt us. But we didn’t shoot it well, we didn’t do a lot of things well tonight,” said first-year head coach Dan Muller.

Big man Jackie Carmichael put up big numbers with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but he faced double teams for much of the night and was limited to just eight points and two boards in the second half. Tyler Brown finished with 12 points but was 0 of 6 from deep and the team shot just five free throws.

Illinois State also cut its deficit down to one less than three minutes into the second half — after trailing by five at intermission — but Sonnen came up with his first big shot and the Redbirds never fully answered.

“That might’ve been the game, that we were able to hold that off, at least long enough to get settled again,” Jacobson added. “They had some open shots from the right guys for them, and we were fortunate they missed a couple of them.”

BUS PASS: UNI’s Deon Mitchell and Marvin Singleton were late for the bus from the team’s hotel to the shoot-around earlier Saturday and were forced to take a hotel shuttle to Redbird Arena. Mitchell was held out of the starting lineup for disciplinary reasons and registered just 17 minutes. Austin Pehl replaced Mitchell in the starting lineup and brought in three rebounds in 16 minutes.

UNI Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Tuttle 39 8-9 3-3 7 1 2 19

Koch 32 1-6 3-4 6 3 1 5

Pehl 16 0-1 0-0 3 1 3 0

Sonnen 37 5-8 4-4 2 1 2 16

James 36 6-14 3-4 4 3 1 19

Mitchell 17 1-3 2-4 1 4 2 4

Rank 8 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Bohannon 12 2-5 2-2 1 0 1 7

Buss 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 4

Totals 200 23-47 17-21 29 13 12 70

Illinois St. Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Ekey 19 0-2 0-0 2 2 0 0

Carmichael 34 9-14 1-1 12 1 2 19

Brown 30 5-13 2-2 3 3 3 12

Zeisloft 30 2-5 0-0 1 0 4 5

Hill 22 5-8 0-0 1 0 1 10

Keane 23 1-5 0-0 2 3 4 2

Cousin 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Wilkins 15 2-3 1-2 3 1 2 6

Upshaw 17 1-7 0-0 3 1 0 2

Threloff 6 2-2 0-0 1 0 1 4

Team 2

Totals 200 27-59 4-5 30 11 17 60

UNI 29 41 – 70

Illinois St. 24 36 – 60

3-point goals – UNI 7-22 (James 4-9, Sonnen 2-5, Bohannon 1-4, Koch 0-2, Mitchell 0-1, Buss 0-1); ISU 2-18 (Zeisloft 1-3, Wilkins 1-2, Brown 0-6, Upshaw 0-4, Carmichael 0-1, Hill 0-1, Keane 0-1). Turnovers – UNI 15, ISU 16. Steals – UNI 6 (Koch 3, Tuttle 1, Sonnen 1, James 1); ISU 8 (Brown 5, Carmichael 2, Zeisloft 1). Blocks – UNI 1 (Tuttle 1), ISU 0.

Officials – Higgins, Heimerman, Boroski. Att. – 6,951.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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