The UNI Panther women’s basketball team tightened their grip on third place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a pair of home wins at the McLeod Center over the weekend.
Friday, the Panthers outscored Indiana State 22-6 in the second quarter, then held off a second half rally to earn a 71-63 win.
UNI limited the Sycamores to just 10 points in the first quarter and were ahead 35-16 at the break.
Indiana State outscored the Panthers by three in the third quarter and kept the pressure on in the fourth. The Sycamores cut the deficit to 60-54 with 1:59 to play, but Bre Gunnels dribbled the length of the court for the layup. She was knocked to the floor as the ball went in to earn a trip to the line. Although she missed the free throw, the basket energized the crowd and helped put the game out of reach.
Gunnels, Karli Rucker and Taylor Hagen each accounted for 11 points. Gunnels scored 8 in the final 3:38 of the game.
The Panthers have now won 10 straight games against Indiana State.
Sunday, UNI hit 15 three-pointers to tie a season-high, clobbering Evansville 95-46.
Five players scored in double figures, led by Nicole Kroeger who recorded a career-high 22 points, including four three-pointers.
UNI played a complete game, giving up just 11 turnovers and notching 23 assists on 33 made field goals.
Mikaela Morgan contributed 16 points.
UNI’s offensive production represented the highest point count since March 2, 2014: a 99-97 overtime win over Drake.
Next, the Panthers travel to Missouri State Friday to face the conference co-leading Bears.