The UNI Panther men’s basketball team came close during a mid-week road loss against defending conference champion Loyola, then bounced back to win on Saturday at home against Missouri State.
Wednesday in Chicago, Cameron Krutwig was seemingly everywhere in the closing minutes, coming up with a block, a key offensive rebound, his first three-pointer of the season, and the free throw conversion which represented the winning margin in the Ramblers’ 61-60 victory.
The Panthers came out slow, trailing by as many as nine points in the opening minutes, but rallied back to pull ahead by seven at halftime.
Loyola moved back in front for good with 1:40 to play, thanks to a Krutwig field goal.
Luke McDonnell led the Panthers with 16 total points, going 7-12 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers. AJ Green had 14 points. UNI shot the ball well from beyond the arc, making 11 of 22 triess from distance during the game.
The UNI men’s basketball team responded by topping the Missouri State Bears, 64-59 on Saturday.
McDonnell dominated the first half with a team-high 12 points, going four of seven from the field and three-for-three from the foul line.
The teams exchanged the lead six times in the second half. In the end, the Panthers outscored the bears 36-32 in the final 20 minutes to move to 5-5 in the MVC.
Collectively, UNI shot 52.4 percent from the field and went five of nine from beyond the three-point arc.
Three other Panthers finished in double-figures with Spencer Haldeman notching 15 points. Isaiah Brown and Tywhon Pickford each had a dozen points.
The Panthers remain in the McLeod Center for a Wednesday matchup with Bradley.