Spiders crawl past UNI, 68-55

After the loss to Richmond, the Panthers are 1-1 on the young season. UNI will stay in Virginia, traveling to Charlottesville to face No. 18 Virginia.

DREW HILL, Sports Writer

The UNI men’s basketball team faced the Richmond Spiders for the first of four straight games on the road on Friday, Nov. 11. When the two teams played last season in Cedar Falls, Richmond emerged victorious with a 60-52 win. Once again, Richmond had the upper hand as UNI ultimately lost their first game of the young season against a Division I foe 68-55.

Both teams struggled to get going early. The game stayed close throughout the first half. After the Spiders tied the score 6-6, UNI made a quick 4-0 run to take a four-point lead, but Richmond managed to tie it back up at 12. Halfway through the first half, the score remained 12-12, but Richmond soon went on a 7-2 run to take a 19-14 lead. This turned out to be the largest lead of the first half for the Spiders, as UNI’s James Betz soon hit two threes to get UNI within one at 21-20. Bowen Born soon gave UNI their final lead of the game at 26-25. Richmond answered with a 7-1 run to once again build a five-point lead at 32-27. Born nailed a pair of free throws to get UNI within three at the half at 32-29.

Trey Campbell opened the second half with a bucket to make the score 32-31. That was the closest UNI got, as Richmond went on a 7-0 run to take a 39-31 lead. After reaching the 36-point mark, Richmond hit five three-pointers to take a 51-36 lead. Richmond soon took their largest lead of the game at 53-37. Born hit UNI’s only three-pointer of the second half to make the score 55-42. Richmond’s lead reached as high as 16, and UNI never got within single-digits the rest of the way. The Panthers finally fell 68-55.

UNI struggled to score in this game. In the first half, the Panthers were 10-26 from the field for a 38.4% field goal percentage. That fell to 10-35 for 28.5% in the second half. UNI made just three three-pointers in the game, shooting 3-22, or 13.6%. Richmond shot 24-53 and 45.3% for the game and 8-27 or 29.6% from three. Richmond narrowly won the battle of the boards 38-36. UNI did win the turnover battle, forcing 11 turnovers while committing just eight and scoring 17 points off those Richmond turnovers to just eight points for Richmond.

UNI had just six players score. Born led in points with 17. Tytan Anderson had his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Heise had 10 points and four rebounds, as well as leading UNI in steals with two. Campbell added six points and four rebounds and led UNI in assists with two. Betz hit two threes for six points, as well as grabbing three rebounds. Michael Duax was the only UNI bench player to score, adding three points in the second half. Richmond was led in scoring by Jason Nelson with 21 points. Tyler Burton added 11 points and nine rebounds for a near double-double.

UNI’s next game is on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. They travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the No. 18 ranked Virginia Cavaliers.