Panthers use 18-0 run to leap past Racers



Tytan Anderson (32) pulled in 18 rebounds in the win over Murray State, a career-high as well as UNI’s single-game record for rebounds against a conference opponent.

ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

The UNI men’s basketball team had a home matchup against conference newcomer Murray State on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Both teams came into this game with a 4-2 conference record, and very similar overall records. The Panthers came into this game hot, having won three in a row, and the Racers were coming off of a loss at Drake. In a close game, it was the Panthers that remained hot, getting the victory at home.

Right from the start of the game, you could tell that this was going to be a close matchup. Neither team could get much of anything going offensively in the early going. Michael Duax scored five points right away for the Panthers, but they went into a bit of a drought for the next few minutes after. Following a free throw by Tytan Anderson to end the scoring drought, the score was 6-4 in favor of the Panthers five minutes in. The scoring was not much improved by either side the next five minutes, but the Racers got a bit more going on and were up 12-9 halfway through the first half. The action increased a bit in the second part of the half, and with three and a half minutes left in the half, the Racers led the Panthers 24-17, a decent-sized lead in a low-scoring game. However, the Panthers closed out the half almost perfectly. Bowen Born got it going with eight points late in the half, and Landon Wolf added a 3-pointer to go along with it. The Panthers scoring was helped out by only giving up two points to the Racers in the final minutes. The Panthers were able to go into the break with a narrow 28-27 lead. 

The second half was a completely different story from the first. The offenses that appeared dormant in the first half were coming out hot to start the second. Both teams were trading baskets, and neither team was able to build up much of a lead. With just under 10 minutes to play in the game, the game was knotted up at 51. Murray State guard Rob Perry scored the next two baskets, a jumper and a 3-pointer, putting him at 15 points in the second half alone. His two baskets sparked a run, and the Racers were quickly ahead 60-51 with just under eight left to play. It looked like the Racers might run away with this one, but the Panthers flipped the script immediately. Cole Henry and Born scored the game’s next nine points, and just like that the game was tied with a little over five minutes left. The Panthers were not content with just tying the game though, as several Panthers pitched in to put up nine more points. A Henry free throw capped off UNI’s 18-0 run, as they went from down 60-51, to up 69-60 with just under two minutes remaining. The rest of the way, all the Panthers had to do was make their free throws, and they did just that. Born made four down the stretch, and Trey Campbell made two. The Racers did score some baskets late, but it was not enough. The Panthers came away with their fourth win in a row, 75-67.

The Panthers had many guys who contributed greatly to the victory. Per usual, Born led the way in scoring with 23 points, his fifth 20-point game in the last seven. He had four assists to go along with his scoring as well. Anderson put together another double-double, but this time with 18 rebounds, a career-high for Anderson, and also a school single-game record for rebounds against a conference opponent. This was Anderson’s conference-leading eighth double-double of the season. Wolf added 15 points on the night, and Henry had 14.

With the win, the Panthers stay hot, and will play next on Saturday, Jan. 14 when they travel to Nashville, Tenn. to play another conference newcomer, Belmont.