McLeod Madness

McLeod+Madness

BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

UNI continues their impressive season by defeating Wichita State 70-54 Saturday. This win puts the Panthers at 20-2 and a tie for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with Wichita State. 

The loss snaps Wichita State’s 27 conference game winning streak and a 19-3 record. On paper this game was supposed to be close, but UNI was in control throughout the whole afternoon.

“We didn’t expect to come in here and beat them the way we did, I guess,” Seth Tuttle said after the game. “They are a great team. But we didn’t talk about beating them by one or two. We talked about coming in here and beating them by 15. That was our mindset.”

Tuttle had a career day to add to this big win. He began the game with a 7-0 run just on his own. He also scored a career-high 29 points. Tuttle was proficient shooting the ball as he finished with 69% percent scoring.

“He is a great player,” Wichita State coach Greg Marshall said about Tuttle. “He is an all-conference guy. He was unstoppable tonight.”

Not only did the Panthers bring their A-game to the court, the crowd also came up big as the McLeod Center was shaking all game long. Every shot came with a giant cheer from the fans.

“That place was rocking,” said Tuttle. “They get credit for the win just as much as we do. We get a crowd like that and we’re playing defense the way we are, this is going to be a hard place to win. They really brought it tonight.”

“I was feeding off the energy of the crowd tonight,” Wes Washpun said after the game. “When we have a crowd like that behind us all night, it gives you a boost of energy.”

Wichita State will have a chance to avenge their defeat when UNI travels to their court Feb. 28.

“It gives us confidence,” said Washpun about the first win. “But we know how tough the Valley is.”

UNI resumes MVC play on Tuesday when they travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to face the third-place Indiana State Sycamores.