The Northern Iowa Panthers host the Drake Bulldogs in the Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament quarterfinals at Enterprise Center in St. Louis Friday.
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The game (1 p.m. ET start time) will be on MVC TV, but if you don’t have that channel or don’t have cable, anyone in the U.S can watch Northern Iowa vs Drake live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ is the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of over 1,500 college basketball games this season (including all the other MVC Tournament quarterfinal games), plus other live sports every day, all the 30-for-30 documentaries, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
Or, if you also want the new Disney+ streaming service and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to 25 percent savings.
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can then watch Northern Iowa vs Drake live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Northern Iowa vs Drake Preview
Northern Iowa (25-5, 14-4 in MVC) is the No. 1 seed in the tourney, and with good reason. The Panthers finished the season on a three-game winning streak, and they led the MVC in scoring, netting 75.8 points a game.
UNI also led the conference in margin of victory, winning its games by an average of 11.5 points, and it has arguably the best player of the tourney in A.J. Green. The Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year led the conference in scoring with 19.7 points a game.
MVC Coach of the Year Ben Jacobson thinks his squad is gelling at the right time. “The last three games we’ve really been playing what I feel is our best basketball, particularly at the defensive end,” Jacobson said prior to the tournament. The Panthers gave up an average of 53 points in their last three games, so if they continue to be stingy on defense, they will be a difficult team to eliminate.
No. 8 seed Drake (19-13, 9-10 in MVC) averaged 69.1 points per game over the course of the regular season, and the Bulldogs are coming off a 75-65 win against Illinois State in the first round of the tourney.
Sophomore Liam Robbins led Drake in scoring with 18 points against the Salukis, and Robbins said after the game that he and his teammates were keeping a focused and measured attitude throughout the tournament. “Our mindset was to take one game at a time and try to go win four. We came out here, gave it our all — and we’ll be ready to go at Northern Iowa tomorrow.”
Jonah Jackson (16 points) Anthony Murphy (17 points) and Garrett Sturtz (17 points) also scored in double figures for the Bulldogs, although things didn’t go entirely smoothly in the second half. Drake jumped out to a quick 17-2 run, but later faced a scoring drought that lasted longer than seven minutes.
“Jonah hit some big shots, and Liam made some free throws — Garrett and myself, also. We just didn’t panic, and we just did it,” Murphy said after the Bulldogs’ victory.
Now, Drake is looking to knock off the No. 1 seed. These two teams last met on February 29th, with Northern Iowa winning easily, 70-43.
“Each team knows each other. Each teams knows the personnel,” Sturtz said. “It’ll be a good battle.”
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