No. 8 Drake 77, No. 1 UNI 56
MVC Tournament Notes – This marks the first time ever that the No. 1 seed has lost in the quarterfinal round of the MVC Tournament. Drake becomes the first No. 8 seed ever to advance to semifinal round of MVC Tournament.
Drake win— Drake, winning its second straight game in 24 hours, moved to 20-13 (seventh 20-win campaign in school history), while advancing to semifinal round for the second straight year (eighth time in program history)…This also marks the third time in program history-but first time since 1971 – that Drake has enjoyed back-to-back 20 win campaigns.
Drake Notes: The 43 points Drake scored in the first half today equaled the ‘Dogs total for the entire game vs. UNI last Saturday, and it marked the most points the Panthers have allowed in a first half this season. Drake led the last 39 minutes of the game as UNI never got closer than its two-point deficit at 50-48. Drake hit .500 from the floor (27/54) and .471 (8/17) threes. Drake’s final 21-point margin was its biggest lead of the game.
Roman Penn scored a career-high 26 points, including 19 in the second half for his third career 20-plus scoring game He tied a career high with three treys. He also added eight rebounds and eight assists. During a 9:41 span (12:55 to 5:14) he scored 15 straight points for Drake allowing the Bulldogs to turn 48-46 lead into 62-48 advantage. Sophomore center Liam Robbins added 17 points, along with nine rebounds and four blocked shots, marking 21sttime this season he has blocked three or more shots in game. He moved up to No, 3 on the MVC single season blocked shot list at 97, passing Reggie Lynch of Illinois State who had 96 in 2013-14. -Senior forward Anthony Murphy, coming off a season-low two points against UNI last Saturday, added 12 and seven rebounds, while tying a career high with three treys. Sophomore swingman Garrett Sturtz came off bench with 10 points and nine rebounds. It marked the ninth time in his last 14 games scoring in double figures. Drake improved to 14-4 when outrebounding opponents. With four blocks, Drake pushed season total to 120 which is a the second-most in school history, trailing school record of 130 set last year.
UNI Notes: This is UNI’s most one-sided loss in the MVC tournament. The Panthers’ previous biggest tourney setback was 91-72 in a loss to Southern Illinois in the 1992 playin game. UNI’s record falls to 25-6 overall this season and 26-22 in MVC Tournament history. UNI falls to Drake for the first time this season and are now 3-3 against the Bulldogs in the MVC Tournament.
The Panthers finished shooting just .309 (21/68) for the game and hit 5/25 threes. AJ Green scored 19 points to lead the Panthers but hit just 8 of 25 from the floor and 3 of 10 from three. He hiked his season point total to 610. This is only the third time this season UNI has been outrebounded in a game as Drake won the boards 42-38. Austin Phyfe went scoreless in the first half, but scored 9 in the second half, to go along with 7 boards. Trae Berhow, UNI’s second leading scorer on the season went scoreless the entire game, but did have a team-high 8 rebounds in the game. Isaiah Brown scored 11 for the Panthers, along with 7 rebounds, but tied a season-high with 4 turnovers.
First Half: Three early treys got Drake a 9-2 lead as Jonah Jackson had one and Anthony Murphy hit a pair in the first three minutes. Jackson and Murphy were a combined 0/5 from the floor last Saturday vs. UNI. Three treys equaled Drake’s total for the entire games (in 21 FGAs) last Saturday. UNI got only its second field goal and broke a four-minute FG drought on a rebound follow by Tywhon Pickford of a missed FT to cut the DU lead to 11-8 with 13:20 left in the half. Another Thomas trey helped Drake push the lead back to 18-8 and as the Bulldogs were hitting 45 percent from the field while UNI was 2 of 11. UNI closed to 18-12 but Drake pushed the lead back to 10 at 22-12 with 8:30 left in the half. Drake was getting help off the bench with a 9-4 advantage as Noah Thomas had five early points. A three-point play and two short jumpers by Liam Robbins hiked the Drake lead to 31-16 with five minutes left. UNI closed to within 10 at 43-33 at the half as Drake closed the half hitting 6 of its last 7 shots. Drake was .586 (17/29) from the floor in the first half, hitting 6 of 10 threes, while UNI was at .355 on 11/31 shooting.
Second Half: UNI scored the first two buckets of the half, extending its run to 9-0 back to the end of the first half as the Panthers closed to within six at 43-37. A three-point play by Austin Phyfe cut the DU lead to 46-44 with 16:20 left as UNI extended its run to 18-3 going back to first half. Drake’s lead was still a bucket at 50-48 at the second media time out of the half. A quick 6-0 Drake run pushed the ‘Dogs lead back to 56-48 as Roman Penn scored Drake’s last eight points. Penn hit a three from the right corner to make it 59-48 with 8:20 left. Penn reached a new career high at 23 with another trey with five minutes left, having scored 15 DU points in a row to push DU lead to 62-48 and Robbins slipped in a layup to make it 64-48 with 4:26 remaining. Garrett Sturtz pushed the lead to 20 at 68-48 before UNI broke a 10-minute scoring drought with a trey at the two-minute mark. UNI got within 15 at 71-56 but Drake padded its margin at the foul line down the stretch.