Evansville beats Northern Iowa 54-51 in overtime

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Colt Ryan scored 23 points, including a jumper with 33 seconds left in overtime that ended up being the winning score, in Evansville’s 54-51 men’s basketball victory over Northern Iowa on Tuesday night.

Ned Cox and Troy Taylor added nine points apiece for the Purple Aces (13-9, 6-4 Missouri Valley Conference), and Taylor pulled down 12 rebounds. Egidijus Mockevicius had six points and 13 rebounds.

Marc Sonnen scored 11 points for the Panthers (11-11, 4-6), who lost their chance to force a second overtime when Anthony James missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Northern Iowa led 47-41 after Sonnen’s 3-pointer with 1:30 left, but Ryan and Cox hit back-to-back 3s to force overtime.

Evansville has won its last five meetings with Northern Iowa and improved to 5-0 in conference home games this season.

The loss was the second straight heartbreaker for the Panthers, who fell 59-58 at Indiana State on Saturday.

Northern Iowa got nine points from Seth Tuttle and Deon Mitchell but could not overcome 17 turnovers. Tuttle led with eight assists, while Jake Koch had eight points and seven rebounds.

The Panthers play host to No. 15 Wichita State at 3 p.m. Saturday at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. The game will be televised by ESPN2.