Panthers split Valpo, Loyola over the weekend


Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Redshirt Junior forward Megan Maahs attempts a shot. She had 10 points and 8 rebounds against Valparaiso on Friday, and 12 points to go along with 6 rebounds Sunday against Loyola-Chicago.


Coming off a quality conference win at home against Bradley last Saturday, the UNI women’s basketball team hit the road for two straight games last weekend, losing to Valparaiso University by the score of 69-72 on Thursday and beating Loyola Chicago in a tight one 73-70 on Sunday.

The Panthers got out to a strong start against Valpo, leading at halftime by the score of 39-35.  After three quarters, the game was tied at 54.  Starting the fourth, the Crusaders went on a 10-2 run, which proved to be too much to overcome for a UNI comeback. Northern Iowa ended up losing by three points with a last second three pointer being swatted away, giving UNI their eleventh loss of the season.  This was a hard fought basketball game; there were 15 lead changes and ten ties throughout the game. Junior Karli Rucker led the Panthers with 20 points and forward Bre Grunnels lead the way with seven total rebounds.

On Sunday the Panthers hit the road again, this time against Loyola-Chicago and picked up their 17th win of the season by the score of 73-70. The win moves Northern Iowa to 9-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference and 17-11 overall on the season. UNI was up by seven points at halftime and never looked back; they only trailed only for a little over one minute in the entire game.  The Panthers shot an impressive 53% from the floor on Sunday. Leading the Panthers in scoring was Karli Rucker with 24 points.  With those 24 points that puts Karli Rucker with over 1,000 career points at UNI making her the 25th member of the 1,000 point club at UNI. UNI will play its last conference game at home against the 21-7 Drake Bulldogs this Friday at 6:30 pm in McLeod. It is senior night for the Panthers, as seniors Rose Simon-Ressler, Kristina Cavey, Heidi Hillyard and Abby Gerrits will be honored during their last collegiate games in the McLeod Center.