UNI Runs By Drake 55-40 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Runs By Drake 55-40

The University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team advanced to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference semifinals with a 55-40 victory over the Drake Bulldogs on Friday in the Scottrade Center.

The Panthers used a decisive 33-3 run and held the Bulldogs to no field goals over a 20-minute stretch from the first half into the second half.

UNI was led in scoring by seniors Adam Koch and Jordan Eglseder with 10 points each.

UNI took a 5-2 lead in the game on a 3-pointer from sophomore Johnny Moran. But the Bulldogs' offense caught fire and allowed the No. 8 seed to build a 24-13 lead with 7:59 left in the first half. The Bulldogs made 10 of their first 15 shots of the contest. From that point on, Drake made only three of its final 25 shots from the field.

"They came out, they were hitting every shot," Moran said. "We slowed down and gather ourselves and defensively we just stepped it up. We knew that was going to win us the game."

However, Drake would not score another field goal until a shot by Josh Young with 7:39 left in the game. At one point during the Bulldogs'

scoreless stretch the Panthers turned an 11-point deficit into a 19-point lead, 46-27.

"Drake obviously got off to a nice start and I think we saw the advantage of playing the game on this floor early with the way that Drake played," UNI head coach Ben Jacobson said. "Fortunately, our defense kicked in a little bit. I thought we guarded pretty well the last 30 minutes of the basketball game."

A key point in the 33-3 run was 16-second stretch that saw senior guard Ali Farokhmanesh bury back-to-back 3-pointers. Drake's Seth VanDeest had just buried a pair of free throws to make it 28-26 in UNI's favor, when Farokhmanesh sank his long-range bombs with 16:26 and 16:10 left in the game.

The Panthers advance to the semifinals where they will take on the winner of the Bradley-Creighton contest at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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