photo courtesy Roland Ferrie - UNI University Relations
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team captured its ninth win in 10 games with a 64-61 victory over the Bradley Braves in the McLeod Center.
UNI (14-12 overall, 9-6 MVC) led by as many as 12 points in the second half and held off a late comeback attempt by Bradley (9-19 overall, 4-11 MVC). Senior Jeremy Morgan and junior Bennett Koch each tallied 18 points to lead the Panther scoring effort.
The Braves held a 34-31 lead at the break after shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and making 6-of-11 shots from 3-point land.
UNI took its first lead of the second half at 40-38 on a steal and layup by freshman guard Juwan McCloud. UNI would increase the advantage to seven at 47-40 after another layup by McCloud with 13:54 left in the game.
UNI would push the lead to 57-45 with 8:50 remaining following a triple from senior guard Jordan Ashton. The Braves answered with a 14-4 run and cut the Panther lead to 61-59 with 2:17 left on a dunk by Donte Thomas. Koch drained a pair of free throws with 1:16 left to give UNI a four-point cushion at 63-59. Bradley's Darrell Brown made a pair of free throws of his own with :53.5 left to cut it back to two. Koch missed a shot and the rebound came out to Brown on the perimeter but he was standing on the out of bounds line giving the ball back to UNI.
The Braves fouled freshman guard Spencer Haldeman on the inbounds pass, but Haldeman missed the front end of a one-and-one. The missed free throw rebound went off two Redbird defenders and possession was awarded to UNI. Koch proceeded to make the first of two to give UNI a 64-61 lead with :09.7 left. Koch missed the second and Bradley had a chance to tie but Brown's three-pointer bounced off the back iron and UNI claimed the three-point victory.
UNI will travel to Wichita State on Saturday for an 11 a.m. tip at Koch Arena.
NOTES: UNI is 4-0 this season in games decided by three points or less ... Bradley fell to 1-11 all-time in the McLeod Center ... Morgan drained four three-pointers to give him 166 in his career and tie him for No. 6 all-time at UNI with Darian DeVries (1994-98) ... UNI has won nine or more MVC games in 14 straight seasons - the longest active streak in the league.
Release courtesy UNI Athletic Communications