Northern Iowa vs. Evansville - 2/3/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Evansville Purple Aces (18-5) at Northern Iowa Panthers (12-11)
College Basketball: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm (McLeod Center)
The Line: Northern Iowa Panthers +2 -- Over/Under: 135.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: The Valley; Fox Sports-Midwest; Comcast Sportsnet - Chicago; ESPN 3
The Evansville Purple Aces will travel to the McLeod Center to take on the Northern Iowa Panthers this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.
The Evansville Purple Aces dropped to 18-5 (7-3 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the 22nd ranked Wichita State Shockers, 78-65, this past Sunday. Evansville had no answer for Fred VanVleet of Wichita State and couldn’t over a sluggish 1st half in which they found themselves down by a 32-21 margin at halftime. Evansville shot 34.8% from the field and lost the turnover battle by an 18-15 margin. The Purple Aces allowed the Shockers to shoot 38.7% from the field and was outrebounded by Wichita State by a 43-35 margin. Leading the way for Evansville was Egidijus Mockevicius who had a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, and a block. On the season, the Purple Aces have been led by D.J. Balentine (21.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.4 apg), Egidijus Mockevicius (16.7 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg), and Jaylon Brown (11.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.1 spg). Offensively, Evansville is averaging 77.6 ppg on 51.5% shooting from the field and 38.0% shooting from beyond the arc. The Purple Aces average 4.7 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.40. Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 67.3 ppg on 40.8% shooting. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 3.8 and average 4.3 blocks per game.
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The Northern Iowa Panthers won their 2nd straight game and improved to 12-11 (4-6 MVC) on the season after defeating the Southern Illinois Salukis, 67-58, this past Sunday. Northern Iowa used a late run in the 1st half to tie it up at 29 all at halftime and used a strong defensive effort in the 2nd half to secure the win. Northern Iowa shot 42.2% from the field and committed just 7 turnovers in the win. The Panthers held the Salukis to shoot 38.7% from the field and 22.2% (4-18) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Northern Iowa was Bennett Koch who had a double-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. On the season, the Panthers have been led by Wes Washpun (14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.2 spg), Matt Bohannon (12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 apg), and Paul Jesperson (12.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 apg). Offensively, Northern Iowa is averaging 69.9 ppg on 46.3% shooting from the field and 37.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Panthers average 8.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.19. Defensively, Northern Iowa is holding their opponents to an average of 65.8 ppg on 43.9% shooting. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -3.4 and a turnover margin of 1.7.
The Purple Aces are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss. The Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning road record and 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 home games.
Evansville has lost two of their last three games but still are probably the team with the best change in the MVC to knock off Wichita State in the MVC tournament later this season. Northern Iowa has had an up and down season and although they do have a solid win over North Carolina at home, the Panthers are just 7-3 at home this season with losses against Colorado State and Loyola (CHI). Northern Iowa certainly can shoot the basketball but the loss of last year’s MVC Player of the Year in Seth Tuttle has really hurt the Panthers and I think that Evansville and their big man Egidijus Mockevicius will have their way in the paint and get the road victory. Take Evansville on the M/L.