Panthers fend off late rally by Loyola

ELIOT CLOUGH, Sports Editor

In a Missouri Valley Conference matchup, the UNI women’s basketball squad took a short trip to Chicago Friday night, walking away victorious with a final score of 71-65.

Offensively, both teams were able to get going quickly, as the score remained tied at the end of the first quarter, 20-20.

Prior to the contest, head coach Tanya Warren knew the Panthers would be tested by a versatile Rambler lineup.

“[Loyola] is tremendous, especially offensively,” said Warren. “You have to match their style of play.”

The Ramblers are known for playing four guards and one post in order to spread the floor.

“We’re going to have to come up with a couple of different defensive schemes that we haven’t had,” said Warren.

UNI was able to execute those schemes effectively for the following quarters, as the Ramblers were held to a total of 23 points between the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Panthers were able to put up a total of 37, stretching their lead to 14 going into the fourth quarter.

With continued fierce play by the cats, they ultimately saw the lead grow to 19 and the score remained that way until 6:18 to go.

Due to several turnovers and zero field goals made by UNI, the Ramblers were able to fight their way back to a seemingly minimal six-point deficit prior to the end of the contest before the Panthers were able to stave off any attempts of a comeback.

Mikaela Morgan, senior guard for UNI, led the way in scoring with a total of 14 points. Next came Cedar Falls native and freshman forward Cynthia Wolf with 13, paired with four rebounds. Karli Rucker also added a double-double for the Panthers with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rucker dished out five assists as well.

The Panthers took on Valparaiso at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, beating the Crusaders, 64-56. Coming up, UNI will head down the road to Des Moines to face the Bulldogs of Drake University on Feb. 15.