Northern Iowa has beaten Evansville twice - 57-54 and 54-52 - so the Purple Aces foresee another close contest. He scored 18 points for the Panthers (22-12), who will be part of the NCAA field for the second straight season and eighth time overall. Anton Grady led the Shockers with 14 points before fouling out. Veteran guards VanVleet and Ron Baker went a combined 7-for-27 from the field.
Still, Wichita State had the lead for most of the game.
At the same time, that 2-6 slide turned into a form of basic training, where the Panthers learned how to battle through tough times.
Northern Iowa is focused on extending their season a few more weeks, but they're held knowing it won't be the same WSU team they defeated less than a month ago.
Washpun finished with 18 points and was also one of three Panthers players to be named to the All-Tournament team.
Neither team could do much offensively from there as regulation ended with the game tied 47-47.
UNI outscored the Shockers 10 to 5 in overtime with junior Jeremy Morgan hitting tie-breaking three-pointers, giving the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.
"The whole game the guys and Coach (Ben Jacobson) were telling me, you know, the next one is going in", said Morgan, who shot 2 of 8 from the floor and 1-for-4 from beyond the arc.
"We're going to approach them the same as did last time, the same as we've done with any opponent all year", UNI guard Wes Washpun said. "We want to be in the Big Dance".
Jacobson was so relieved to win that he had no immediate reaction when asked what seed Northern Iowa deserves. "No". Northern Iowa is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The Purple Aces went into the locker rooms with a 15 point lead.
The national tournament begins on March 15 in Danville, Ill. The MVC's regular season champions had to rally late to outlast Loyola, 66-58, in their quarterfinal game at the Scottrade Center.
Beane had 17 points and O'Brien had 12 points and 12 rebounds for SIU. Drury fell to Bellarmine 80-77 in St. Charles, Mo. Senior Wes Washpun scored 11 points and added four assists, sophomore Wyatt Lohaus had nine points.
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