CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- 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.
Northern Iowa takes on Illinois State at home on Wednesday. Drake takes on Missouri State on the road on Wednesday.
For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com
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