CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Confidence is the term spreading around the Northern Iowa locker room.
After hitting just 21 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc in the first half, the Panthers remained confident in their shots and converted late to defeated Drake University last night in a men’s basketball game at the McLeod Center.
The Panthers, who trailed by four points with just under five minutes left in the game, hit back-to-back 3-pointers from Nate Buss and Matt Bohannon in part of a 10-0 run and never looked back, defeating the Bulldogs 76-66.
Before hitting the two 3-pointers, UNI was just 6 of 24 from beyond
“Nate’s never going to pass up on an open shot,” UNI head coach Ben Jacobson said. “Now he’s on a team where his teammates have a ton of confidence that he can score. My feeling has been that as long as our guys are in there working, we’re going to be as green light, if you will, as possible.”
Neither team could gather more than a five-point lead in the second half before UNI’s run, and the lead changed hands four times in the half.
“I’m really proud of our guys for being able to go on the road, and for 35 minutes of that game they did a good job and put themselves in good position. We need to be able to finish games,” Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti said.
Deon Mitchell and Wes Washpun led UNI in scoring with 17 points each.
“(Our confidence) is high. We know we’re playing well, but it’s because we’re playing hard. That’s our mindset every practice and game to just play our hearts out for 40 minutes,” Buss said.
Jordan Daniels led the Bulldogs with 18 points, despite picking up three fouls in the first half. Seth VanDeest tallied seven points and seven rebounds.
UNI shot 50 percent for the game, while the Bulldogs hit 42 percent of their attempts.
“It was a great game tonight,” Jacobson said. “Ending a game like that really helped this team, especially for some of our younger guys who for the first time in a conference game have been in that situation. I think this can add to the momentum we’ve picked up in the last couple of weeks.”