Panthers take down Illinois State on the road



Bowen Born (13) led the way for UNI with 25 points in their win over Illinois State. This was also the debut of UNI’s new black and purple uniforms.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

The Northern Iowa men’s basketball team traveled to Normal, Ill. on Dec. 31 for a conference matchup against Illinois State. In a tight defensive battle, the Panthers were able to leave Normal with the victory.

Neither team got on any big runs during the first part of the opening half, as they were consistently trading baskets. Defense was the name of the game, as with 8:45 left in the half it was 18-15 in favor of the Redbirds. Bowen Born hit a 3-pointer to tie it up, and sparked an 11-0 run for the Panthers. Born capped off the run with two free throws, giving the Panthers a 26-18 lead, the biggest for either team at that point. UNI was able to maintain a narrow lead the rest of the half and went into the break up 31-25. Born led the offense for the Panthers, having 14 points in the half.

The Panthers came out of the break ready to play, scoring the first five points and extending their lead to 11. The Panthers maintained a solid lead for a good part of the second half, but the Redbirds were able to keep it close enough for a potential comeback. With about 11 minutes left in the game, the Panthers held a 51-38 lead, but the Redbirds were not done yet. In the next three minutes, they went on a 10-1 run and cut the lead to just four. With 4:32 left in the game, the Redbirds cut the lead down to three points, 58-55, and it looked like it was going to be a tight finish. The Panthers had other plans, scoring seven unanswered points. In the final 4:32, the Panthers only gave up five points and managed to hang on to the victory, 66-60, finishing 2022 with a victory.

UNI’s victory was led by Born and Tytan Anderson. Born led the way in scoring, finishing with 25 points, and Anderson did a bit of everything, pitching in 16 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Liam McChesney led the Redbirds in scoring with 22 points.

The Panthers will stay on the road for their next game, traveling to Valparaiso on Wednesday, Jan. 4.