Northern Iowa (13-11) at Bradley (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 10, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carver Arena (11,168) -- Peoria, Illinois. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNI 11-2, Bradley 11-2. Away Record: UNI 2-5, Bradley 3-6. Neutral Record: UNI 0-4, Bradley 0-2. Conference Record: UNI 6-6, Bradley 6-6. Series Record: Bradley leads, 27-21.
GAME NOTES: The Panthers of Northern Iowa shoot for their third straight win on Sunday afternoon, as they tangle with the Bradley Braves in Missouri Valley Conference action at Carver Arena.
The Panthers, who are now 6-6 in league play, last took the floor on Tuesday when they captured a 48-37 victory over Missouri State at home. With the win the team moved to an impressive 11-2 in their own building, which just happens to be where Bradley is after 13 games in Carver Arena as well.
The Braves, who have also split their first 12 MVC contests, posted a 76-70 win over Evansville at home earlier this week, marking the team's second victory in the last three outings overall.
UNI crushed the Braves in the first meeting of the season last month, 84-53, but still the Panthers trail in the all-time series by a count of 27-21. Bradley has won 17 of the 22 games played on its home floor over the years.
The Panthers shot just 28.6 percent from the floor in the first half against Missouri State in the last outing, yet UNI led by a point at the break and then pulled away in the second half for the double-digit victory. Anthony James recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Jake Koch with 11 points and seven boards of his own. Defensively, the Panthers held the visitors to a mere 3-of-21 shooting beyond the arc. In conference games, UNI is holding the competition to just 57.2 ppg, while the offense is led by James (13.8 ppg) and Seth Tuttle (10.9 ppg). Marc Sonnen (8.8 ppg) is further down on the scoring chart, but his 50.9 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line is critical to the team's success.
Dyricus Simms-Edwards dropped in a team-best 21 points in 38 minutes of action earlier this week, as the Braves picked up the win against Evansville at home. Walt Lemon Jr. filled out his stat line with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Tyshon Pickett tacked on 18 points and a team-best eight rebounds for a Bradley team that outscored the Purple Aces at the free-throw line, 20-10. Leading the offense this season is Lemon with his 14.9 ppg, his 86 assists also tops on the team, although he does have two more turnovers than dishes through 24 games. Simms-Edwards (12.2 ppg) is another key performer for the program, but could probably help the team a bit more if he didn't take so many 3-point shots (22-of-88) because it has brought the entire group down to only 31.3 percent accuracy out on the perimeter.
Looking at their respective records, these two teams are quite evenly matched, which means Bradley should hold a slight edge by virtue of being at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bradley 68, Northern Iowa 64
02/10 10:39:45 ET