- Associated Press - Sunday, February 15, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Four days after a season-high performance from 3-point range, Northern Iowa did it again.

Seth Tuttle scored 22 points and the No. 13 Panthers matched their season-high with 12 3-pointers to beat Missouri State 68-57 on Sunday. They also hit 12 3s against Illinois State on Wednesday.

Jeremy Morgan and Deon Mitchell each added 11 points for Northern Iowa (24-2, 13-1 Missouri Valley Conference). Camyn Boone had 14 points and six rebounds to lead Missouri State (9-17, 3-11 MVC).

A strong first-half was the difference for Northern Iowa. The Panthers shot 57 percent from the field (16 of 28) in the first-half, including nine of 14 from behind the arc. Northern Iowa had 14 assists and led 42-20 by halftime.

“We’re getting some pretty good looks,” Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson said. “We’ve got guys that are finding themselves with some really good looks. My message to the guys is that you’re going to go out and play really aggressive, and the guys are doing a good job.”

Tuttle made 10 of 12 shots on Sunday, including the first eight he took. He added four rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes.

“Seth is so unselfish and he’s got such a good feel that, no matter how he’s going to get defended . he makes everything work,” Jacobson said. “He could take more shots, but he doesn’t because he wants our team to have good offense. He wants our team to do well.”

The victory stretched Northern Iowa’s win streak to 13-games - the fifth-longest current streak in the nation. Missouri State lost for the 10th time in its last 11 games.

“We ran into a buzzsaw,” Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said. “I thought they came out and … stole our energy and stole our spirit and that’s what good teams do. We just didn’t have any answers. When they shoot it like that, they’re one of the best teams in the country.”

Tuttle scored 10 points in the first six minutes as Northern Iowa blitzed to a 16-4 lead. The Panthers made six of their first eight shots, including four of five from 3-point range.

The Panthers’ lead grew to 16 on a 3-pointer by Nate Buss midway through the half, prompting Missouri State coach Paul Lusk to burn his second timeout. It didn’t help. Back-to-back treys from Jeremy Morgan and Wyatt Lohaus stretched the Northern Iowa lead to 35-13 with 6:08 remaining. Seven different Panthers made 3’s in the first-half.

“We’ve been playing pretty good on the road,” Mitchell said. “Getting off to a good start, especially on the road today, is something that helps us.”

Missouri State rallied in the second half, closing the game on an 11-2 run that made the final margin closer than the game actually was. Despite his team’s lackluster finish, Jacobson wasn’t concerned.

“That’s more on me and what I’m talking about as opposed to what (our guys) are doing,” Jacobson said. “I thought the guys played great all the way through.”


Northern Iowa: With the win, Jacobson became the eighth coach in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference to reach 100 league victories. Henry Iba (1934-57) owns the most coaching wins in the conference with 187.

Missouri State: After competing with only seven scholarship players in their last two games due to injuries, the Bears were back to nine scholarship players in uniform on Sunday. Dorrian Williams (concussion) and Christian Kirk (precautionary/health) returned to action.


Northern Iowa: visits Loyola on Wednesday.

Missouri State: hosts Indiana State on Wednesday.

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