The Northern Iowa Panthers and the Valparaiso Beacons meet Wednesday in college basketball action from Athletics-Recreation Center. Northern Iowa is 6-8 so far this year. The Panthers beat Illinois State in their last game. As for Valparaiso, they’re 6-9 overall after a loss to Indiana State on Sunday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Northern Iowa was 3-6 over their first nine games this year, beating only Wartburg, Northern Illinois and Evansville in that time. Since then the Panthers are 3-2 with wins over Towson, St. Bonaventure and Illinois State.
In the Illinois State game, the Panthers took a 31-25 lead into the second half. Northern Iowa kept the pace from there in a 66-60 win. Bowen Born led the team on 25 points, and Titan Anderson added 16 points.
Over on the Valparaiso side, they were 4-6 through their first 10 games, beating Western Michigan, Incarnate Word, James Madison and Trinity Christian. The Beacons are 2-3 since then with losses to Ole Miss, Drake and Indiana State.
Matched up against the Sycamores on Sunday, the Beacons were drilled 36-24 in the first half. Valparaiso scored another 26 points from there in a 68-50 loss. Ben Krikke topped the team with 16 points and five rebounds.
PICK: I’m going to stay with Northern Iowa. Probably not going near this one, though. The Panthers haven’t exactly been tearing up the scoreboard lately; they’ve hit 67 or fewer points in three straight games. That said, Northern Iowa is 3-1 during that stretch and has held opponents to 66 points or fewer in the three wins. Valparaiso has some decent scoring efforts this season so far, but if Northern Iowa can manage to keep the Crusaders in check I don’t see Valparaiso keeping a cover pace.