UNI's Lucas O'Rear out for season

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Northern Iowa forward Lucas O'Rear will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right ankle.

O'Rear, who is averaging 6.9 points and 5.7 rebounds a game, injured his ankle in Wednesday night's win over Illinois State. The senior was scheduled to have surgery Thursday.

The loss of O'Rear is a tough blow for the Panthers (18-6, 9-3 Missouri Valley), who've won eight straight to vault back into at-large consideration for the NCAA tournament.

O'Rear will be remembered as a spirited reserve on Northern Iowa's round of 16 team from a year ago, but his future is likely in baseball. The right-handed pitcher was drafted in the 13th round by the Cincinnati Reds last year.