Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson, shown here in a Nov. 10 loss at North Carolina, saw his team get zero free-throw attempts in Friday's loss to No. 5 Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Somehow, Northern Iowa managed to play a 40-minute college basketball game without attempting a single free throw.

The Panthers lost 64-50 in Friday’s Battle 4 Atlantis championship game in the Bahamas in a relatively whistle-free game that featured a combined 20 fouls. But coach Ben Jacobson and guard Juwan McCloud had no complaints in their postgame comments.

“They don’t get stretched out very often because they switch so much,” Jacobson said. “Even though they rotate and do a great job of rotating, they don’t spend much time in their defensive possessions in the rotations. And that’s where you usually get hurt _ that’s where you’re usually at an advantage and able to get to the free-throw line.

“And then when you do get by them, their hands are straight up and they go straight up with you. They’re not reaching. They do a good enough job. They just don’t foul you.”

McCloud called it “really just a coincidence, I guess.”

For the record, Villanova was whistled for six fouls and shot 11 free throws. It was a refreshing change from the Wildcats’ Thursday win against Tennessee, a game that featured 52 fouls and 56 free throws _ with Villanova making 33 of 37.