Evansville, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The 23rd-ranked Northern Iowa Panthers and Evansville Purple Aces will ring in the New Year on Thursday evening, as the two teams open up Missouri Valley Conference play at the Ford Center. Ben Jacobsens Panthers have forged their way into the polls thanks to wins in 11 of their first 12 games this season. Northern Iowas lone loss came in double-overtime at VCU on Dec. 13 (93-87), but the Panthers have won two straight games since, topping Iowa (56-44) and most recently South Dakota State (74-63). Marty Simmons Purple Aces are also off to a strong start, entering this contest at an impressive 10-2. It marks the best start for the school since the 1988-89 campaign. Evansville has won three straight games entering this conference matchup, including Sundays 85-80 shootout with Coppin State. Evansville holds a slim 23-21 advantage in the all-time series with Northern Iowa. However, the Panthers swept a pair of games last year from the Purple Aces. The Panthers are sitting in the Top-25 thanks to strong defensive efforts game-in and game-out. Northern Iowa ranks first in the MVC in both scoring defense (58.1 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.395). The pressure at the defensive end makes a modest scoring total of 68.7 ppg hold up more often than not. Northern Iowa is shooting an efficient .486 from the field overall, including .382 from behind the arc. Senior forward Seth Tuttle has been an effective leader at both ends of the court. Tuttle is shooting over 62 percent from the floor and paces the team in both scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). Junior guard Wes Washpun has exclusively come off the bench, but is also shooting over 60 percent from the floor (.603) and putting up 11.8 ppg. Northern Iowa used a dazzling offensive performance to earn the 11-point win over South Dakota State last time out, as the Panthers used a 57.8 percent shooting effort to hold their foe at bay. UNI was 50-percent accurate in the first half and got better as the game wore on, converting 66.7 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes. Four Panthers notched double figures in the win, led by Nate Buss 14 points. Washpun added 12 points, followed by Tuttles 11 and Paul Jespersons 10. Tuttle just missed a double-double with nine assists in the game. The Purple Aces are sure to push UNIs defense to the max in this one, as Evansville is the top scoring team in the Missouri Valley Conference at an impressive 79.2 ppg (23rd nationally). A good portion of that production comes from one player in junior guard D.J. Balentine, who ranks first in the MVC and fifth nationally at a hefty 22.5 ppg. Junior center Egidijus Mockevicius is the perfect complement with his interior prowess, as the 6-10 center is converting 67.7 percent from the floor and averaging a double-double with 14.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Evansville jumped all over Coppin State early, taking a 15-point lead into halftime (45-30), fueled by a 55.9-percent shooting clip in the first half. Every point was crucial, as the Purple Aces were able to fend off a strong second half by Coppin State to earn a five-point win. Overall, Evansville shot 53.7 percent from the field. Balentine was once again unstoppable, as he poured in 32 points, going 10-of-18 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the free- throw line. Mockevicius added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore swingman Blake Simmons checked in with 13 points in the win. Soccer Jerseys 2020 . The St. Louis Cardinals were scheduled to arrive in Boston in time for a workout on Tuesday afternoon. Much of Mondays discussion focused on Bostons lineup considerations as the series progresses, specifically when the venue shifts to St. Jordan Roland Jersey .com) - Former foes from the Mountain West Conference battle in the 23rd annual Las Vegas Bowl, as the 23rd-ranked Utah Utes clash with the Colorado State Rams at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. https://www.cheapmlbjerseysjustwholesale.com/. The 29-year-old Mills started three games for Oakland this season, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.41 earned-run average. He opened the season appearing in 14 games and making 12 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers triple-A affiliate in Nashville, posting a 4-2 record with a 1. Nike NBA Jerseys 2020 . Will Venable and Ryan Ludwick drove in a run each for the Padres, who have taken six of their last seven contests and clinched their third straight series win after winning the first two in this set. Clayton Richard (4-9) allowed five hits and a pair of runs over seven innings, while fanning five. MLB Jerseys 2020 . Brad Malone had the other goal for the Monsters (1-1-0), while Elliott chipped in an assist for a three-point night and the games first star. Bryan Lerg also had two assists. Corban Knight and Max Reinhart scored for the Heat (1-1-0), who opened their season Friday with a 5-2 win over the Monsters in Cleveland. SEATTLE -- Once the scrum subsided, a visitor made his way over to Chad Barrett in the Seattle locker room after an introduction that could not have been more dramatic for the home side. "That," Sounders majority owner Joe Roth joked, "is why we brought you here." Barrett scored off a wild scramble in the penalty area in the final moments of second half-stoppage time to give Seattle a 1-0 victory over defending champion Sporting Kansas City on Saturday in the Major League Soccer opener. Seattle shocked Kansas City with a goal in stoppage time for the fifth time in the past eight matches. Barrett scored in his Sounders debut after Clint Dempseys header clanged off the crossbar and goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was caught out of his net. "When I scored I couldnt even hear myself scream," Barrett said. "Im pretty sure I was screaming or I was going through puberty. One of the two." The goal was a stunning conclusion after it appeared Kansas City would be happy to open its title defence getting out of Seattle with a draw. Barretts goal started with a strong crossing pass by substitute Sean Okoli, but the play itself started after Graham Zusi committed a turnover in the midfield. Kronberg came out of the net to try and punch Okolis cross and the deflection allowed Dempsey a clear header. Dempseys attempt hit the crossbar but he was able to keep the play alive and get his toe on the loose ball. He was trying for a scissor-kick shot on goal, but it trickled forward far enough that Barrett was able to finish off the game winner. "For 90 plus minutes, we were excellent. We were very hard to break down and had a couple chances of our own," Zusi said. "A stupid mistake by me in the 93rd minute, and we got punished. Thats something that cant happen." Dempsey came on in the 577th minute just a few days after playing 90 minutes for the U.ddddddddddddS. national team in an exhibition loss to Ukraine in Cyprus. He was credited with an assist, his second since joining the Sounders. "Getting a goal in injury time does show that youre fighting to the end. But it is a long season," Dempsey said. It was the first match played with replacement officials after Major League Soccers referees and other on-field officials were locked out Friday. There appeared to be no egregious issues with referee Alan Kelly, other than the large number of fouls called. Kansas City was called for 25 fouls and Seattle 15. Both goalkeepers made their debuts as the No. 1 options for their clubs. For Kansas City, Kronbergs first match as the successor to long-time starter Jimmy Nielsen was a success for the first 93 minutes. He was peppered by chances throughout by Seattle and denied each one until the end. It was the first time in 90 matches someone other than Nielsen started in goal for Kansas City. "It was a lot of excitement for sure -- some nerves and stuff, but once you get out on the field its like every other day," Kronberg said. Stefan Frei wasnt challenged as much in Seattles goal, but came up with the shutout. Dempseys minutes were slightly surprising given his recent schedule. After playing against Ukraine, Dempsey travelled all day Thursday and trained with the Sounders on Friday. It was his first training with the Sounders since the end of last season after spending the winter on loan with English Premier League club Fulham. "With all the travel and stuff, getting in on Thursday, we wanted to be a little bit smarter because of the history of myself and some of the other players can pick up injuries if you push too hard, too quickly after long travel," Dempsey said. ' ' '