UNI Panthers

UNI men's basketball goes cold down the stretch in loss at Drake

Bulldogs earn season split with Panthers, 83-77

Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — A nearly four-minute scoreless streak that began at the 4:21 mark of the second half cost Northern Iowa in an 83-77 loss to Drake at the Knapp Center on Saturday.

A Wyatt Lohaus jumper brought UNI (10-15, 5-7) within one with four minutes to play, but the Panthers missed their next five shots while Tremmell and Anthony Murphy combined to go 6 for 6 at the free throw line to secure Drake’s win.

“Nine turnovers in the first half led to 15 points off of those turnovers in the first half, and that’s far too many,” UNI coach Ben Jacobson said. “The start of the second half for us defensively, (Drake) got a bunch of points in the first three to four minutes. Those two things hurt us today. Outside of that, I thought we were good.”

The Bulldogs (18-7, 7-5) — led by Nick McGlynn’s and DJ Wilkins’ 22 and 18 points, respectively — got key baskets from the duo throughout the second half. McGlynn scored 18 of his 22 in the final 20 minutes and gave the Bulldogs their second largest lead of the game at 54-47 on a layup with 15:41 to play.

“We wanted to give (McGlynn) some traffic,” Jacobson said. “I don’t feel like our plan was excellent and that’s on me. It was good, but it wasn’t where it needed to be probably to help our guys just a little bit more.”

After another close loss that featured a considerable discrepancy in free throws between UNI and its opponent, Jacobson was complimentary of receiving a question postgame on the subject.

“It’s been a challenge for us,” Jacobson said of getting to the free throw line. “It’s one of the things we’ve talked about and one of the things we’re going to have to work on. But (the) question (is) a really good one.”

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Wyatt Lohaus — who was joined in double figures by AJ Green (19 points), Spencer Haldeman (12) and Tywhon Pickford (10) — poured in 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting.

After 19 lead changes and its 11th consecutive game that’s been either a one- or two-possession difference with less than three minutes to play Lohaus, acknowledged frustration is part of the process.

“Team-wise I think (frustration) falls more on the individual player, whether that’s only for a couple hours after the game or 24 hours, but, obviously you want to win every single game so there is frustration when we’re that close,” Lohaus said.

Northern Iowa returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Illinois State (14-10, 7-4).

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