UNI throttles Wartburg in season opening victory



Bowen Born (13) had a great opening game for UNI, finishing with 19 points while connecting on seven of his 11 shot attempts in UNI’s 105-49 victory over Wartburg on Monday.

DREW HILL, Opinion Columnist

The UNI Panthers men’s basketball team faced the Wartburg Knights in their first regular season game. UNI piled up 105 points and won by 56 points. This is the fourth largest margin of victory for the Panthers in men’s basketball history. This game was even more impressive than the exhibition game against Dubuque, which UNI also won handily 84-52. For a young team attempting to establish their identity for the season, this was a tune-up and a chance for five players to make their UNI regular season debuts.

UNI jumped out to a 5-0 lead early, with freshman and Cedar Falls native Trey Campbell scoring the first basket for UNI this season. Wartburg tied it up at five, but that was the closest they got as UNI went on a 14-0 run and never looked back. By halftime, UNI led 53-20. UNI kept up the pace in the second half, jumping out to an 81-28 lead by the 11:46 mark of the second half. Wartburg scored more toward the end of the half, but UNI still stayed in full control, coasting to a 105-49 win.

Bowen Born, last season’s Missouri Valley Conference Sixth Man of the Year, led UNI in scoring with 19 points along with three assists. Landon Wolf, making his UNI regular season debut, was second in scoring and first in steals and three-pointers off the bench with 18 points, three steals and four three-pointers. Nate Heise put up 14 points. Campbell also had a nice debut, scoring 11 points, as well as adding two assists and two steals. Drew Daniel also added 11 points while draining three three-pointers. Tytan Anderson led the team in rebounding and blocks with 12 boards and two blocks to go along with his six points. Chase Courbat, making his UNI debut, and Derek Krogmann each added six rebounds of their own. The final two Panthers making their UNI debuts were Michael Duax, who scored six points to go along with four rebounds, and Ege Peksari, who scored three points while leading UNI in assists with four. James Betz started at center and scored seven points.

UNI shot 59.7 percent from the floor together with a 40.6 percent clip from three-point land on 13 made three-pointers. The defense held the Knights to just a 31.6 percent field goal percentage, along with a 15.4 percent three-point percentage. UNI forced 22 turnovers, from which they managed to score 27 points. UNI out-rebounded Wartburg 42-31, while scoring 14 second-chance points.

UNI’s next game will kick off a four-game road trip, which includes trips to Richmond and Virginia, along with a two-game nonconference tournament in Kansas City. The game against the Richmond Spiders will be Friday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. Richmond is led by returning star Tyler Burton, who helped lead Richmond to an upset win over Iowa in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.