Sunday’s box score
WSU 66, Northern Iowa 41
Percentages: FG .326, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 3-17, .176 (Rank 2-5, Koch 1-3, James 0-1, Morrison 0-1, Mitchell 0-1, Bohannon 0-1, Sonnen 0-2, Buss 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots: 1 (Buss). Turnovers: 12 (Mitchell 4, Pehl 2, Tuttle 2, Bohannon, Morrison, Koch, Sonnen). Steals: 3 (James, Rank, Koch). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .460, FT .700. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Armstead 2-3, Williams 1-1, Cotton 1-2, Early 1-4, White 1-5, Van Vleet 0-1, Wiggins 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 4 (Orukpe 2, Lufile, Early). Turnovers: 10 (Armstead 4, Early 2, White, Wiggins, Orukpe, Cotton). Steals: 9 (Armstead 3, Van Vleet 2, Lufile, Wiggins, Williams, Cotton). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–10,506. Officials–Mike Stuart, Tom Eades, Mark Whitehead.
Hard to guard
The Missouri Valley Conference doesn’t land many 6-foot-8 players with Cleanthony Early’s combination of speed and scoring skills. He will pose a matchup problem for teams, most of whom won’t possess big men quick enough or smaller players tough enough to combat Early.
He gave WSU space against the Panthers early in the game by beating UNI forward Jake Koch to the basket. He scored 11 first-half points, making 5 of 6 shots.
“I thought his first-half performance was one of the keys to the game,” UNI coach Ben Jacobson said. “Him making plays and getting points on the board, and us not finding a way to do the same, gave them the kind of lead they needed to have.”
Early finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Miller, Lungren honored
Basketball player Paul Miller and volleyball’s Sara Lungren will be inducted into the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame in January.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Jan. 26 men’s basketball game against Bradley.
Miller earned honorable-mention Associated Press All-America and MVC Player of the Year honors in 2006. He scored 1,317 points from 2001-06 and helped the Shockers to three NIT berths and the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Lungren was named MVC Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007. She also earned honorable-mention All-America notice by the AVCA in 2007. She was named the MVC’s Dr. Charlotte West Award winner for scholarship and service in 2008.
Miller received a standing ovation at the game. He will not be at the January ceremony because he will playing in France.
Few teams handed WSU as much misery at Koch Arena in recent seasons as the Panthers. They sent Shocker fans home disappointed, sometimes in dramatic fashion, five times in the past eight seasons, including 2011.
The Shockers are getting some revenge the past two seasons, slapping UNI with 25-point margins. A year ago, WSU won 82-57. That margin is the largest in the 46-game series.
Last season, UNI gave up 80-plus point for the first time since 2009. Sunday, WSU held the Panthers to their lowest points total since a 57-41 loss at St. Mary’s on Nov. 14, 2011.
“At one point, I thought we were going to hold them in the 30s, and that’s hard to do against a team that executes their stuff as well as Northern Iowa, shoots it as well as Northern Iowa,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “I hope it just wasn’t them having a bad night. I hope we had a lot do with it.”
WSU has won four straight over the Panthers, its longest streak since UNI joined the MVC for the 1991-92 season.
• WSU shot 70 percent or better from the foul line (14 of 20) for the fourth time and first since making 10 of 14 at Air Force.
• WSU’s 10 turnovers were its fewest since it committed eight against Tulsa. It had averaged 17 over the past give games.
• The Shockers out-rebounded UNI 40-22, tying Louisville for the largest margin against the Panthers this season.
— Paul Suellentrop