The UNI Panther women’s basketball team pulled to a big first quarter lead but trailed at halftime during a back-and-forth Friday game, which wrapped up with Tanya Warren’s team on top of Southern Illinois 60-57 in Carbondale.
Kristina Cavey led the Panthers with 15 points, and Karli Rucker added 14.
The Panthers jumped ahead by double-digits in the opening quarter, but the Salukis made 50 percent of their second quarter field goal tries – including four threes – to rally ahead by two at intermission.
Southern Illinois was as cold in the third period as they had been hot in the second. UNI’s defense held the Salukis to 2-for-11 from the field, and the visitors wrestled away the lead for good. Although Southern Illinois kept the game within three possessions during the final ten minutes and closed on a 5-0 run, the Panthers hung on for their first conference victory.
Despite the absence of Megan Maahs, UNI outrebounded the Salukis 32-26. Rose Simon-Ressler and Bre Gunnels had six apiece to lead a team effort.
Overall, the Panthers are now 9-4.