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Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Drake Bulldogs - 1/11/14

Drake Bulldogs (10-5) at Northern Iowa Panthers (8-7)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm (McLeod Center)

The Line: Northern Iowa Panthers -8 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

The Northern Iowa Panthers hold their perfect home record in front of the visitng Drake Bulldogs on Saturday night at the McLeod Center In Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Northern Iowa has seemed to found its mojo of late and took down the Evansville Aces in a one-sided game in which the Panthers knocked down 14 three-pointers while allowing just 3. It was just a matter of time before they found success beyond the arc, which has been a key to their success in the last decade or so. The Panthers are led by the trio of juniors, Deon Mitchell (14 ppg), Seth Tuttle (13 ppg), and Nate Buss (11 ppg). Last game they were relatively quiet as other bench guys took over and filled the stat sheet. Ben Jacobsen has his Panther teams playing well at this time of the year and they will be a threat to finish in the top 3 teams in the Valley. They are a very tough team at home – especially when facing the stiffer teams in the league.

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Drake Bulldogs - 1/11/14

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

Drake has not played up to par in their last 2 games – an 11-point loss at Bradley, and then a 4-point loss at home to Indiana State. Their defense has been very good for most of the season, but not so much in their last two affairs. Senior Richard Carter replicated another 20+ point game with 29 against the Sycamores, but their bench, which has been an asset this season, didn’t give them enough production. The Bulldogs boast a 46% mark from the field and are around 40% on three-pointers this season. Drake has struggled in their last couple games moving the ball around for the high percentage shot. They only tallied 14 assists in those games.

If they get into a long-range shooting contest with the Panthers though, they will likely fall victim to another loss. Drake has been part of some close games this year, and while the Panthers will probably win outright, I can see Drake having some success and keeping it close. At 4-1 on the road, they will be a pushover for the Panthers.

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Drake Bulldogs +8

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