UNI Schedules Home Games Against Cornell, Coe
With a 13-day break between games, the UNI men's basketball team has filled the gap by scheduling two non-conference opponents.
The Panthers are now hosting Cornell at the McLeod Center on Thursday. In a press release, UNI athletic officials announced the other added game will be at home against Coe on Monday. Both games are set to begin at 6 PM and can be viewed online on ESPN+.
UNI was swept in a weekend series at Illinois-Chicago, which won Saturday's game 72-57. The Panthers then suffered their worst-ever defeat in Missouri Valley Conference play on Sunday, falling to the Ramblers 88-46 at Gentile Arena.
With reigning MVC player of the year AJ Green out for the season with a hip injury, UNI Coach Ben Jacobson has been forced to use a starting line-up that at times has featured two freshmen and a sophomore. COVID-19 also forced the departure of sophomore Antwan Kimmons, one of the team's best defenders who played in all 31 games for the Panthers in 2019-20.
Before adding the games against Cornell and Coe, UNI wasn't scheduled to play again until a Jan. 30 road contest at Southern Illinois.
Thursday's meeting with Cornell will be the season-opener for the Rams, who compete in the Division III Midwest Conference. They are currently scheduled to play only seven games this season, starting with this week's trip from Mount Vernon to Cedar Falls. UNI beat Cornell last season, 88-66.
Coe was the preseason pick to finish fifth in the nine-team Division III American Rivers Conference. The Kohawks are expected to start their season Sunday with a home game against Iowa Wesleyan in Cedar Rapids. Exposure to the COVID-19 virus forced Coe to cancel two other non-conference games that were scheduled to be played last week against league rivals Luther and Simpson.
Monday's game will be the first meeting between the Kohawks and Panthers.
UNI athletic officials also announced that the McLeod Center will continue to operate at a 15-percent spectator capacity.