Panthers stumble against Bears, 79-67



Cole Henry (1) finishes an emphatic dunk through contact during UNI’s 79-67 loss to Missouri State on Wednesday.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, the UNI men’s basketball team played against conference opponent Missouri State in the McLeod Center. The Panthers came into the game off of two straight victories, and looked to continue that momentum. The Bears were able to get the victory over the Panthers, putting a halt to the short win streak.

The start of the game saw both offenses working well. Missouri State’s duo of Dalen Ridgnal and Damien Mayor Jr. had Missouri State’s first 14 points, and the Panthers had multiple guys contributing to the scoring on their end. The two teams went neck and neck during the first part of the half, but the Bears began to pull away in the final 10 minutes. The score was 23-22 in favor of the Bears, and they closed out the half well. The Panthers struggled to get anything going offensively, as in the final 10 minutes they scored just seven points. On the other hand, the Bears managed to score 17, going into the half up 40-29. Kendle Moore led the Bears in scoring in the first half with 11, while Bowen Born had 12 for the Panthers. 

The second half started out with a Michael Duax dunk for the Panthers, but other than that it was all Bears. Following the dunk, the Bears went on an 11-4 run, and had a 51-35 lead. The lead continued to grow for a good part of the second half, and when Ridgnal sank one from deep at the 8:39 mark, the Bears had a 64-42 lead. The Panthers tallied off seven in a row to cut into the lead 64-49, but they could not do enough down the stretch. The closest they got to the Bears was at the very end of the game when Ege Peksari made a shot to cut the score to 13. The Bears defeated the Panthers 79-67. 

The Panthers were led by Born who had 23 points, Tytan Anderson with 15 and Michael Duax with 10. The Bears were led by Ridgnal with 24 points, 13 of which were scored in the second half. Kendle Moore added 15, and Mayor Jr. and Chance Moore both had 13. 

The Panthers will play next on New Year’s Eve when they travel to Normal, Ill. to take on Illinois State.