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.
Cal big man Ivan Rabb could have been selected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. Instead, he's returning to Berkeley to make himself, and the Golden Bears, stronger.
Devin Williams' decision last month to sign with an agent and enter the NBA draft has left West Virginia in a tough spot.
Florida State's student government has passed a resolution discouraging Seminoles fans from wearing Native American headdresses at games.