Pride on the Line on Tuesday

Dec. 6, 2010

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa will get its first taste of in-state rivalries this week when Northern Iowa comes to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday night. With an influx of Iowans on the roster, the first rivalry game of the season will be all about a sense of pride.

“This game is huge, as a lot of people pay attention to it,” said junior Matt Gatens, an Iowa City native. “You have to have a sense of pride with it. We have a lot more Iowa guys on the roster now, who I think will all feel that sense of pride.”

The Hawkeyes have a total of eight players on the 2010 roster that hail from the state of Iowa. Northern Iowa also has eight student-athletes on its roster that call the Hawkeye State home.

Each and every Iowa player will be chomping at the bit to take on a Panther team that was America’s darling during the 2010 NCAA Tournament after knocking off No. 1 overall seed Kansas in the second round.

“It will be a great game against a great opponent,” said Gatens, following Iowa’s 70-53 win over Idaho State that evened its record at 4-4. “Everyone knows about UNI right now. They’re a great team. We have to come ready to play, just like we did today, right out of the gates and jump on them.”

Fellow Iowan Eric May knows the importance of playing well in the rivalry games, but the guard also notes that getting wins and playing more consistently is priority number one.

“This game is huge, not only because it’s an in-state game, but because these are wins we need to get,” said May, who is UI’s leading scorer at 13.5 points per contest. “We need to start getting on a winning streak and playing well consistently, not just playing well for one game or one half.”

The Hawkeyes and Panthers have split the previous four contests in the series with Northern Iowa coming away with a 67-50 victory last season in Cedar Falls. UNI, a team that was picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, brings a 4-2 record into Tuesday’s contest.

When asked about whether or not Gatens emphasizes rivalry games with the newcomers, Gatens replied. “It is a matter of us passing it on, and I think they understand. They know what it is all about and it’s going to be a huge week for us, but we’re definitely looking forward to it.”