CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball completed the season sweep on the Illinois State Redbirds today, finishing with an 82-51 victory. The Panthers improved to 18-6 overall and 11-2 in conference play.
The Panthers had three scorers in double figures with Abby Gerrits leading the way with a career-high 19 points. Kennedy Kirkpatrick added a career-best 15 points along with three assists and two steals while Mikaela Morgan posted 11 points and a career-high tying five dimes.
UNI’s defense continued to prove troublesome for opposing offenses with the Panthers forcing 24 turnovers against the Redbirds, the second-highest turnover number this season. The Panthers also outrebounded the Redbirds on both ends of the court, 42-32.
Illinois State scored the first five points of the game, but never held a lead again as Gerrits scored 10 of UNI’s first 12 points to give the Panthers the lead. UNI didn’t let up, going on an 8-0 run to end the first quarter with a 20-11 advantage.
The runs continued for UNI in the second quarter as they went on a 14-2 run to end the half up 34-16. The Panthers held Illinois State to just five points during the quarter with the Redbirds going 2-for-9 from the field with eight turnovers.
UNI’s bench got in valuable minutes during the third quarter, scoring 12 of UNI’s 22 points. The Panthers started the quarter on a 7-0 run sparked by a three from Gerrits with Kirkpatrick putting seven of her 15 points in during the period to give UNI a 16 point lead heading into the fourth.
The Panthers shot 66-percent from the field and 60-percent from the arc in the fourth. Morgan scored seven points while adding three assists in the final quarter, helping UNI keep the throttle down. She was a part of an 8-0 run that the Panthers strung together, eventually claiming the 82-51 win.
UNI returns to action on Friday, Feb. 17 at Loyola followed by a game at Indiana State on Feb. 19. UNI’s Friday night match-up will tip off at 7 p.m. in Chicago.
Post-Game Notes vs. Illinois State
Abby Gerrits scored a career-high 19 points in UNI’s win over Illinois State. She has now reached double-digits in three games this season, including twice in the last four games.
Kennedy Kirkpatrick scored a career-high 15 points today.
Hannah Schonhardt finished the game with two blocks, moving into eighth all-time at UNI in career blocks. She is tied with Barb Bennett (1997-00), both with 84.
Megan Maahs grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds against Illinois State. It ties her career-high that was set at Bradley (1/15). It marks the third time this season she has had double-digit boards.
UNI forced 24 turnovers against the Redbirds, the second most this season. They forced 26 against Loyola (1/22).
Release courtesy UNI Athletic Communications