Panthers hold on, take down Huskies



Bowen Born (13) finished with a career-high 30 points on Saturday, helping lead UNI to a 83-76 victory over Northern Illinois.

DREW HILL, Opinion Columnist

The UNI men’s basketball team was at home in the McLeod Center for a game against the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 26. Despite a late rally by Northern Illinois, UNI held on for the 83-76 win, led by Bowen Born’s career-high 30 points.

Early in the game, both teams got off to a slow start, but UNI started to pull away after the first six minutes of the opening half. After Northern Illinois cut the UNI lead to one at 7-6, the Panthers went on a 14-0 run to take a 21-7 lead with just under nine minutes left. Northern Illinois slowly brought it back from that point. Despite UNI maintaining at least a six point lead for much of the remaining time in the first half, the Huskies had pulled within one at 32-31 to end the first half.

The momentum for the Huskies carried over into the second half as they took their first lead of the game early at 33-32. This eventually stretched out to a seven point lead at 43-36. UNI battled back to tie the game at 50. A Tytan Anderson layup gave UNI its first lead since the beginning of the second half at 52-50. UNI built up an eight point lead at 60-52. A quick 5-0 run drew Northern Illinois within three, but UNI managed to stretch the lead out again to eight at 67-59. Another late run with two minutes left got the Huskies within two at 74-72, but UNI converted free throws and locked down Northern Illinois to hold on for an 83-76 win. 

UNI was led in scoring by Born, who put up a career-high 30 points, as well as leading the team with four assists. The Panthers were led in rebounding by Anderson with eight boards to go along with 16 points. Landon Wolf also contributed a career-high 19 points, and Michael Duax was the fourth Panther to score in double figures with 11. A key factor in UNI’s win was fouls and free throws. Northern Illinois had 25 fouls to UNI’s 18. This helped UNI get a resounding advantage at the free throw line. UNI shot 25 for 36 from the free throw line, while Northern Illinois made 16 out of 18 free throws. Other key advantages UNI had included winning the turnover and rebounding margins. UNI had 14 turnovers to Northern Illinois’ 19, and the Panthers outrebounded the Huskies 39-32, including a 15-9 victory on offensive rebounds.

UNI faced the Bradley Braves on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to open Missouri Valley Conference play. Their next game is in the McLeod Center against the Evansville Purple Aces on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.