The Panthers (16-11, 9-6 Missouri Valley) shot 13 of 26 (50 percent) from behind the arc en route to their fifth win in a row. Sonnen had five 3-pointers; James and Chip Rank three apiece.
Rank, who had 11 points, hit the first of five consecutive Northern Iowa baskets from behind the arc to give the Panthers a 49-46 lead. Matt Bohannon, Rank again, James and Sonnen followed, and when that flurry was finished, Northern Iowa had a 61-50 cushion with 4:10 remaining. Drake got no closer than five points afterward, and that was in the final seconds.
Jake Koch had 11 points and three blocked shots for the Panthers.