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BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

The 10th ranked UNI Panthers men’s basketball team finished with a perfect record at the McLeod Center with a win over Evansville 68-57. The five seniors that were on the team were Deon Mitchell, Marvin Singleton, Nate Buss, Max Martino, and Seth Tuttle.

While the Panthers had control of most of the game, Evansville was able to get within five points at the 12:09 mark. Deon Mitchell did not panic as he put up six straight points to get back to a double-digit lead.

The win brings revenge to the Panthers’ loss over Evansville on New Year’s Day. This game was circled on Seth Tuttle’s calendar.

“The way we lost down there, we blew a 16 point lead,” stated Tuttle. “We should have had that in the win column. We really wanted this one ever since that game at Evansville.”

Mitchell came to play last night as he led the game with 17 points. Mitchell made all five of his field goals and six out of nine free throws.

“This is the best he’s played in his entire career,” Coach Jacobson said about Mitchell’s performance. “What he’s doing at transitions, how he’s running our offense, he’s playing at the highest level.”

Even though the Panthers finished undefeated at home this season, the biggest story is to be unveiled on Saturday as they travel to Wichita State to face the Shockers again. The game received so much hype that it is the center of ESPN’s College Gameday.

“It’s the biggest game of the season,” Tuttle said about Saturday’s game. “One, it’s for the conference title. Two, it’s on the road. Three, it’s their senior night. Four, it’s on College Gameday. I can keep going. We’re excited about it.”

“I’m comfortable saying that it’s the biggest game on Saturday,” Coach Jacobson noted. “This is at the top of the list. It’s terrific.”

The final game of the regular season will come to a close on Saturday Feb. 28 at Wichita, where UNI and Wichita State will go at it again on ESPN. This time, winner takes all.