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UNI HOOPS

Evansville tops UNI, 54-51, in overtime

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team led by six points with 1 1/2 minutes remaining against Evansville Tuesday.

Colt Ryan hit a 3-pointer for the Aces, UNI was forced into a turnover, Ned Cox connected from deep on the other end to force overtime, and the Panthers ultimately dropped another game at the wire.

Evansville scored 10 straight points at the end of regulation and the first four minutes of overtime to steal a 54-51 win at the Ford Center Tuesday night.

“In this one, we needed to get one more basket,” said UNI head coach Ben Jacobson, in part referencing his team’s 59-58 buzzer loss at Indiana State Saturday.

“We had a six-point lead and we needed to get one more basket.”

Marc Sonnen knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:33 on the regulation clock, but the Panthers (11-11, 4-6 MVC) didn’t score again until 1:01 was left in overtime.

“Great individual plays,” said Evansville head coach Marty Simmons. “We had guys step up and make tough, terrific shots. We probably played with more energy over the last five minutes than we played with the entire game.”

The Aces’ energy really picked up over the last 15 minutes of the second half. In an otherwise sluggish game where everything on the offensive end came deliberately, UNI scored 18 points in the first 5:06 coming out of halftime. Anthony James’ 3-pointer gave the Panthers their biggest lead, 37-30, at 14:54, but only 10 more points were scored in regulation.

“We put ourselves in position to win a big road game,” said Sonnen. “It didn’t go our way, but how we came out in the second half was something we needed to do to get the lead that we did and have it come down to the end of the game.”

Once again, the end of the game wasn’t kind.

After Ryan’s deep ball made the score 47-44, Jake Koch misfired on a pass in traffic and handed the ball back to Evansville (13-9, 6-4). Cox sprung open at the top of the key to tie the game and locked down on James on UNI’s final possession to win the game in regulation.

That final possession featured a scramble for the ball and a UNI timeout that left just 0.4 seconds to work with.

Evansville kept rolling, scored the first four points in overtime and, despite making only 1 of 4 free throws, came up with enough stops to stay on top.

“In practice we have little drills that we do for the end of games,” said Sonnen. “We just have to find a way and trust that we can get it done. Things haven’t quite gone our way at times, but we have to keep staying with it.”

Sonnen led UNI with 11 points, going 3-for-5 from behind the arc. Seth Tuttle added nine points and eight assists while Deon Mitchell also had nine points to go along with six rebounds and five assists.

Ryan put up a game-high 23 points and nine assists for Evansville while Egidijus Mockevicius had 13 rebounds — eight on the offensive glass — and Troy Taylor pulled down 12.

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

Tuttle 29 4-11 1-1 4 8 1 9

Koch 36 4-10 0-0 7 1 2 8

Mitchell 38 4-12 0-1 6 5 2 9

Sonnen 38 4-8 0-0 3 2 3 11

James 35 2-7 0-0 3 0 3 5

Rank 16 0-3 0-0 4 0 5 0

Bohannon 19 2-2 0-0 3 0 1 5

Martino 5 1-3 0-0 0 0 1 2

Pehl 9 1-2 0-0 0 6 0 2

Team 3

Totals 225 22-58 1-2 39 16 18 51

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

Jones 20 0-3 0-0 0 1 0 0

Mockevicius 36 3-8 0-2 13 0 2 6

Taylor 33 4-8 1-2 12 1 4 9

Ryan 43 8-17 4-5 4 9 2 23

Cox 36 4-9 0-1 1 2 2 9

Sawvell 10 1-4 0-0 1 1 0 2

Nelson 8 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0

Moore 7 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Wing 14 1-2 0-2 3 0 2 2

Balentine 18 1-6 0-0 1 1 0 3

Team 225 22-59 5-12 39 15 12 54

UNI 19 28 4 – 51

Evansville 23 24 7 – 54

3-point goals – UNI 6-23 (Sonnen 3-5, James 1-2, Bohannon 1-1, Mitchell 1-5, Koch 0-3, Tuttle 0-2, Rank 0-3, Martino 0-2); Evansville 5-16 (Ryan 3-8, Cox 1-3, Balentine 1-3, Nelson 0-1, Jones 0-1). Turnovers – UNI 12; Evansville 17. Steals – UNI 6 (Mitchell 2, Sonnen 2, Bohannon 1, Pehl 1); Evansville 6 (Ryan 2, Mockevicius 1, Taylor 1, Sawvell 1, Wing 1). Blocks – UNI 2 (Koch 1, James 1); Evansville 7 (Mockevicius 6, Moore 1).

Officials – Boroski, Wymer, Oglesby. Att. – 3,681.

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