Cowboys sneak past Panthers, 52-49



Michael Duax (15) dunks the ball during UNI’s loss to McNeese State. Duax recorded a double-double on Friday, the first of his career.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

On Friday, Dec. 9, the UNI Panthers played host to McNeese State. This was a close one throughout, but the Panthers fell just short in the end. 

The game was going back and forth in the early going, and Michael Duax and Trey Campbell were leading the way for the Panthers. When the score was 15-15 with 10 minutes left in the half, they had all of the points except for a two point bucket from Tytan Anderson. However, when the score was knotted up, both teams went into a drought. The next basket came with just under seven minutes left, and it was a layup by McNeese State’s Trae English. This basket sparked a run for the Cowboys, and after a couple three-pointers and another layup, they were quickly ahead 25-15. The Cowboys would only get one more basket the rest of the half, and the Panthers were able to close the gap. The score at the break was 27-23 in favor of the Cowboys.

Going into the half UNI’s leading scorer Bowen Born did not have a basket, but solid first half performances by Duax, Campbell and Anderson kept them alive. 

To start the second half, Campbell made a jumper and a three-pointer to put the Panthers ahead 28-27. There would not be much adding to the lead, however, as the game continued to go back and forth, neither team leading by any more than four points. Born was finally able to get himself on the board with a two point basket with eight and a half left in the game. With just under five minutes left in the game, tied at 45, Born hit a huge three-pointer to put the Panthers up by three. McNeese State was not going to back down, and tallied off five in a row to go ahead 50-48. Duax made a free throw, and the Cowboys made a couple free throws, and it was 52-49 with 59 seconds left. 

Things got crazy in the last minute of the game. The ball would stay on UNI’s side of the court the entire time, and after plenty of chances to tie the game, or even go down by one, they were unable to get anything to go. Coming out of a timeout with eight seconds left, it was the last chance for the Panthers. The ball went into the hands of Drew Daniel, who missed a decent look to tie it. Campbell got the rebound off the miss and tried to throw in a three at the buzzer, but was unsuccessful. The Panthers lost a close one to the Cowboys 52-49.

The Panthers were led on the day by Campbell and Duax. Campbell finished the game with 17 points and Duax had 16, career-highs for both of them. Duax also added 11 rebounds, collecting his first-career double-double. The Cowboys were led by Roberts Berze with 12 points and Johnathan Massie with 11.

The Panthers will get back on the court on Monday, Dec. 12 in the McLeod Center against South Florida. Game time is 7 p.m.