Bradley (10-6) at Northern Iowa (8-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McLeod Center (6,650) -- Cedar Falls, Iowa. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Bradley 7-2, Northern Iowa 6-2. Away Record: Bradley 3-2, Northern Iowa 2-2. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-2, Northern Iowa 0-4. Conference Record: Bradley 2-2, Northern Iowa 1-3. Series Record: Bradley leads, 27-20.
GAME NOTES: The Bradley Braves hit the road for Missouri Valley Conference action as they take on the Northern Iowa Panthers at the McLeod Center on Saturday.
Bradley is seeking to halt a two-game skid after falling at Indiana State on Wednesday, 68-53. The loss came on the heels of a hard-fought setback to Wichita State last weekend and dropped the team to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Northern Iowa is also coming off a loss. The Panthers fell to Evansville 62-59 in a nail-biter. It marks the team's third loss in the last four games and drops the Panthers to a disappointing 1-3 in-conference.
Bradley leads the all-time series 27-20 although the Panthers have got the best of the Braves of late with wins in eight of the last 10 meetings.
The Braves shot just .318 from the floor overall and were outscored 22-8 at the free-throw line in their loss to Indiana State this week. Walt lemon Jr. was the only player to finish in double figures for Bradley, posting 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. The team turned the ball over just eight times, but ISU had a big advantage in bench points, outscoring Bradley 20-9 in that regard. Despite three of the team's five starters averaging double figures, Bradley is only averaging a modest 69.0 ppg. Lemon leads the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg. Tyshon Picket and Dyricus Simms-Edwards round out the top threats at 11.3 and 11.1 ppg, respectively. A strong defender, Simms-Edwards is currently ranked second in the nation with 54 steals.
Anthony James shot 8-18 from the floor and netted a team-high 19 points, but it wasn't enough in a three-point loss to Evansville. Seth Tuttle added nine points and eight rebounds to the mix, but Northern Iowa received little help elsewhere. On the season the Panthers are lead by a trio of double-digit scorers. James heads the group at 11.7 ppg, despite shooting just .383 from the field. Tuttle is much more efficient at .574 shooting and adds 11.3 ppg. Deon Mitchell rounds things out with 10.1 ppg and is the team's top distributor (48 assists). Overall, UNI is posting modest numbers, averaging 67.3 ppg on .438 shooting. The team has struggled at times on the boards and has a result has a -2.1 rebounding margin.
Northern Iowa hopes to use the homecourt advantage to halt the current skein. However, Simms-Edwards' defensive prowess may just come into play for Bradley here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bradley, 68 Northern Iowa, 65
01/12 10:37:22 ET