Panthers outlast Purple Aces, 73-68



Grace Boffeli (42) drives to the basket. Boffeli secured another double-double in the win over Evansville, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Boffeli has now finished with a double-double in four of UNI’s last five games.

BEN LAHART , Sports Writer

Coming off the thrilling last second win over Drake, the UNI women won their second game in a row last Sunday as they traveled to Evansville, Ind. to play the Evansville Purple Aces. The Panthers won 73-68 after a tight contest throughout. 

The first quarter started off in back-and-forth fashion and remained close before UNI closed out the first 10 minutes with a 9-3 run. They led 19-11 going into the second quarter. UNI continued their run with two straight baskets by Emerson Green to give the Panthers a 12-point lead. UNI saw as much as a 14-point lead in the quarter before allowing an 11-4 run over the last four minutes. The Panthers still led at halftime with a score of 37-32.

The third and fourth quarters turned the contest into a very close game. The Panthers struggled to hold onto their slim lead as the Aces took their first lead of the game in the final minute of the third quarter. The score sat tied with a quarter to go, 47-47.

The fourth quarter proved to be the highest scoring of the afternoon and featured five lead changes and four ties. Evansville scored first and the scoring was back-and-forth from that point on. With two minutes left UNI found themselves down by four. The Panthers were able to rally and scored the final nine points of the game to win by five with a score of 73-68.

Grace Boffeli continued her excellent season leading the Panthers in points and rebounds with 17 and 10, respectively. This was her seventh double double of the season and her fourth in the last five games. Boffeli is currently third in the MVC in points per game with 16.2 and sits atop the rebounders list with 8.7 per game. Green also had a good outing with 13 points on 63% shooting. This was her fifth game with double figure scoring this season.

Maya McDermott also tallied 12 points in the win. She sits at seventh in the MVC in points per game with 14.3 on the season. McDermott earned MVC Player of the Week honors as she averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 assists in two games, along with hitting the game winner against Drake the Wednesday before.

With the win, the Panthers move to 10-5 overall with a 5-1 conference record. They sit tied with Illinois State for the top spot in the conference standings. UNI will look to continue their winning streak as they enter a two-game home stand starting Thursday, Jan. 19 against Valparaiso starting at 6 p.m. in the McLeod Center. This game is also available for streaming on ESPN+. The following Saturday, Jan. 21, will feature UIC coming to Cedar Falls, with the game tipping off at 2 p.m.