It turned into a second straight loss for the Wichita State Shockers, but a much needed victory for the Northern Iowa Panthers, in a game that the Shockers needed to win after their surprise loss to Indiana State on Wednesday. The Panthers were led by senior Anthony James who turned in 16 points and had himself going mid way through the second half to help push the Panthers ahead and they didn’t look back.
The Panthers did exactly what they had to do to win this game. That was to slow it down, do not turn the ball over and hit the open three. They were able to play the pace they wanted to throughout the game. Other than the 16 from James rest of the Panthers scoring was balanced throughout.
I really liked that they went with James at the end of the game because he was able to take care of the ball and find open guys. They were able to close out a close game for what seems to be the first time all season, which was nice to see. Although this team would have to make a run in the Missouri Valley tournament to make it to the NCAA tournament, a game like this can turn around their season dramatically.
The rest of their schedule looks promising with the only threat being Creighton. They need to play the way they did today for the remainder of the season and see what happens in the conference tournament, but I wouldn’t want to face the Panthers.