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Panthers drop close one on road

BRENNAN WHISLER, Sports Writer

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The women’s basketball team let a close victory slip away Sunday afternoon. The Panthers traveled to Southern Illinois to take on the Salukis. They were unable to repeat their previous 30-point win, and lost with a final score of 64-69.

This is UNI’ second loss in nine days, and the last time that happened was first week of December.

The game started off well, as the Panthers took a 10-7 lead halfway through the first quarter and eventually created a 36-21 halftime score. The first half saw UNI shoot 46 percent to SIU’s 43 percent; the Salukis also hit half of their threes, but only attempted four.

By contrast UNI went 5-9 themselves; four came from senior guard Madison Weekly, whose only made shots came from downtown. The third quarter was a little back and forth as SIU was able to whittle the score down to 50-43. While Weekly received some bench minutes, she was also held scoreless from the field.

The fourth quarter started as UNI tried to viciously defend their lead by getting to the line early. A fastbreak layup saw SIU finally tie the game 56-56 with four minutes left. Weekly’s lone second half make from deep gave UNI a three-point lead and their last points of the game. SIU permanently took the lead at the 1:50 mark.

The total offense was led by Weekly with 19 points and an assist. She was closely followed by sophomore guard Ellie Herzberg who had 18 points and an assist, but added an offensive rebound as well. Senior forward Hannah Schonhardt led on the boards with eight rebounds, followed by freshman Megan Maahs with seven.

In a rarity this season, Weekly was off the court for more than five minutes, as compared to her average of 33 minutes a game. The biggest problems from this game occurred on defense, as UNI allowed 52 percent shooting for the game.

Followed by the fact that the Panthers had 10 assists to 10 turnovers, they were simply unable to find the open shot. The third problem came in Weekly’s offense; she is a good shooter, but much of her game is from driving and drawing fouls.

She reached the line twice on Sunday; luckily, she made up for it with five threes. These are all new problems for the Panthers and luckily won’t come up again.

UNI will be back at home this Friday and Sunday against Bradley and Illinois State. Both teams are towards the bottom of the Missouri Valley and likely won’t cause too much trouble. The big problem this loss forced on the Panthers is that even if they win out, they won’t automatically be co-champions or better.

They now need Drake to lose once, not including to UNI, and win out. This isn’t impossible, but the team needs to be prepared.

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Panthers drop close one on road