Panthers win two at home, highlighted by Berhow’s 36

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Panthers win two at home, highlighted by Berhow’s 36

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

BRIELLE KIEWIET, Sports Writer

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The UNI men’s basketball team advanced to 6-0 after taking down UT Martin 87-67 on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and taking care of business against Cornell College 88-66 on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Trae Berhow led the way against UT Martin with a career-high 36 points and a record-tying eight three-pointers.

“As a shooter, once I see [my teammates] shots going in, it gives me a little confidence,” Berhow said. “Seeing those guys start off hot, Spencer [Haldeman] and A.J. [Green], seeing them put the ball in the basket makes me more confident.”

Berhow went 8-11 from behind the arc, tying the record for the most threes made in a game in UNI history. Not only did Berhow tie UNI’s record, he also set the new McLeod Center record.

“He’s a totally different basketball player than he was at this time last year,” head coach Ben Jacobson said. “I give him a ton of credit for that.”

The team also caught fire from three, shooting 47% from deep and 59% overall. “When they make a step forward like we did with our decision making and passing from Saturday [against Northern Colorado] to tonight, I just give the guys a lot of credit,” Jacobson said. “That’s a great step for us.”

Green led the Panther offense to a strong start early in the first half, scoring the first nine points with three consecutive threes, along with dishing out a career-high nine assists.

“We knew coming into it that if we really moved the ball and kind of just stayed poised on offense […] they’d all collapse,” Green said. “We’d just have to find the shooters, make the extra pass and I think we did that all night.”

The Panthers kept it going in the second half, pulling away with their three-point shooting assisted by good ball movement.

“What I really, really like is the way we passed the ball in the second half,” Jacobson said. “That was the best that we have passed the ball in five games. That was fun to see.”

Austin Phyfe and Isaiah Brown were also key players in the 20-point win with Phyfe tying his career-high 11 rebounds and Brown adding 11 points and five rebounds.

Coming off of Berhow’s career night, the Panthers handled Cornell College 88-66 in the second half of the back-to-back.

Berhow continued his hot streak with 20 points, going 4-4 from three and 8-9 overall. Green added 15 points and five assists, along with freshman James Betz, who poured in 16 points. Fellow freshman Noah Carter added eight points on 4-5 shooting with a message on the work ethic of the team’s freshmen.

“Us freshmen, we all have each other’s backs,” Carter said. “We wake up in the morning, go out together, work out. We hop in the car at like 5:30 in the morning, so we’re always together. The connection between us all is definitely growing and it’s going to continue to grow.”

Up next, the Panthers will escape the cold, travelling to Cancun, Mexico to play in the Cancun Challenge. The first showing for the Purple and Gold will be against West Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m., set to air on CBS Sports Network.

“I really like the improvement that I’ve seen from the guys,” Jacobson said. “In terms of how ready we are, I think we’re as ready as we could be for what we’re going to see in West Virginia.”

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