Illinois State looked to finish their regular season by continuing its six-game win streak, and claim the conference’s automatic NCAA tournament berth against (11) Northern Iowa. Had the game ended at halftime, it would have been successful. But they play two halves for a reason. Northern Iowa’s seniors are the core of the team and they were the ones cutting down the nets as Missouri Valley champions Sunday afternoon with a 69-60 win. Illinois State led the entire first half and continued to hold the lead until the 13:22 mark in the second. Once the Panthers grabbed control of the lead, though, there was no looking back.
No. 11 Northern Iowa looks to be a top 5 seed in the NCAA tournament field.
Illinois State needed to win this game to earn a bid to the tournament, but now will wait to see if it earns an NIT, CBI, or CIT invite.
The opening seven minutes of the second half. Illinois State led by 14 at the half, but Northern Iowa went on 22-4 run to take the lead and held it until the buzzer.
Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle dominated the second half finishing the game with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
Strange, But True
There were only 12 turnovers throughout the game — 3 by Northern Iowa and 9 by Illinois State.