A career-high 23 points for Megan Maahs – including eight in overtime – sent the UNI Panther women’s basketball team to a 71-66 home win at the McLeod Center against the Southern Illinois Salukis.
Trailing with 16 seconds remaining, Maahs made one of two free throws to force overtime. She nudged UNI in front with two more conversions in the first minute of the extra period, added a layup, then sank a couple more foul shots to help assure that the Panthers would never trail during the five extra minutes.
Bre Gunnels (14 points) and Karli Rucker (13) pointers were also in double figures.
After having a seven-point lead at one stage of the second quarter, UNI trailed by two at halftime. The Salukis build an eight-point lead in the third quarter and never trailed in the fourth, despite leaving the door open for a Panther rally which tied the score and forced the extra segment.
Rebounding and free throw shooting won the game for UNI. The Panthers outrebounded SUI 45-38. At the line, UNI made 29 of their 33 foul shots, while SIU went 11-for-19.
The win came despite 23 turnovers on an afternoon when both teams struggled shooting from the floor: UNI made 38.8 percent of their field goal tries while the Salukis hit just 33.8 percent of their shots.
Now 14-8 overall and 6-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, UNI’s next game is on the road at Indiana State on Thursday.