CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A.J. Green scored 34 points with six 3-pointers and sparked a late run as Northern Iowa rallied in the final minutes to turn aside Drake 83-73 in a key Missouri Valley Conference clash before a boisterous sellout crowd at the McLeod Center on Saturday.
Green scored eight straight points to pull NIU over the top. He drained a 3-pointer with about five minutes left to play, then collared a defensive rebound and drove to the basket at the other end, lifting Northern Iowa (21-3, 10-2) into a 68-68 tie, and followed with another 3 for a 71-68 lead with 3:29 to go. The Panthers clamped down defensively, forcing Drake to go 1-for-8 from distance over the final minutes.
The Panthers have been receiving votes in the AP Top 25 poll and are a perfect 13-0 inside the McLeod Center this season. The Panthers have finished undefeated in the McLeod Center twice — 2009-10 and the 2014-15. NIU is 60-6 when scoring 80+ points under coach Ben Jacobson, 10-0 this season.
Trae Berhow had 18 points for Northern Iowa, which won its fifth straight game. Spencer Haldeman added 12.
Liam Robbins had 17 points and three blocks for the Bulldogs (16-9, 6-6). D.J. Wilkins added 16 points, Anthony Murphy 15 points.
Northern Iowa takes on Illinois State at home on Wednesday. Drake takes on Missouri State on the road on Wednesday.
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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com