UNI knocks off St. Thomas to open season

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

The UNI women’s basketball team opened up the season on Monday, Nov. 7 at home against St. Thomas. The Panthers were able to come away with the victory 58-46. 

The game started out with plenty of back and forth action, as the score was tied 9-9 with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Panthers were able to make the most of these two minutes, as they went on a 6-0 run to close out the quarter. This gave them a 15-9 lead going into the second.

The Panthers extended their lead to as many as eight points several times in the second quarter, but St. Thomas was able to shrink the deficit to just two points going into the half. Through the first half of play, the score was 30-28 in favor of UNI.

To start the second half, St. Thomas took their first lead since they were up 5-2 when Maggie Negaard made a three point shot to put St. Thomas up 33-30. Their lead would be short lived however, as the Panthers went on a quick 8-0 run to go ahead 38-33. The rest of the quarter was tightly contested, and the game would go into the fourth with the Panthers narrowly in the lead, 43-40.

The fourth quarter was all UNI, as the defense stepped up big time, only giving up six points in the final quarter. On top of that, the Panthers were able to score 15 points of their own, outscoring St. Thomas by nine points, and coming away with the victory, 58-46.

For the Panthers it was Grace Boffeli and Kam Finley who led the way. Together they combined for 37 of the teams 58 points on the day, Boffeli scoring 19 and Finley scoring 18. Boffeli added 10 rebounds to her performance, putting up a double-double. Finley also did more than just score, as she put in good work on the defensive end, having an impressive five steals. For St. Thomas, Jade Hill led the way in scoring with 14 points, but Jordyn Lamker was not too far behind with nine points. Hill had two steals and four assists to go along with her scoring and Lamker had nine rebounds, making her one point and one rebound short of a double-double.

This was not always the prettiest game for the Panthers, but they were able to come away with a victory regardless. They will get a chance to play on the home court again for their next three games, the first of which will be against Saint Louis on Sunday, Nov. 13.