300: Coach Warren’s legacy continues to grow

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  • UNI women’s basketball Head Coach Tanya Warren, seen speaking to point guard Maya McDermott, secured her 300th career victory on Sunday when UNI defeated Valparaiso, 83-60.

  • Head Coach Tanya Warren, alongside her staff and bench, celebrate a game-winning shot. Coach Warren just picked up her 300th career victory, a huge milestone in an already illustrious career. Coach Warren also broke the Missouri Valley Conference record for most games coached, leading the Panthers in her 507th game at the helm.

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ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

The UNI women’s basketball team came into their game against Valpairaso on a roll, having won four consecutive games. The Panthers have been making their way up the standings in the conference, and with a win against Valparaiso, they would get a share for first place in the conference. The Panthers were able to do just that, with a dominant performance against the Beacons.

In the early going of the game it was a tight contest. The Beacons held a small 13-11 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter, but the Panthers quickly showed why they are at the top of the conference. They finished the quarter on an 8-0 run that was capped off by a Grace Boffeli 3-pointer with just five seconds left on the clock. The Panthers led 19-13 after the first. 

In the second quarter, the Panthers gradually added to their lead. It got cut into a couple of times, so they were never able to completely pull away, but they took a solid 37-26 lead into the halftime break. 

After the half, the Panthers came out on fire. Kam Finley started it off with a 3-pointer that sparked a 14-2 run. After the end of the run, the Panthers were ahead 51-28. The Beacons quickly countered with an 11-0 run of their own, nearly cutting the Panthers lead in half. The Panthers rebounded with their second big run of the quarter, finishing off the third quarter 10-1. This gave the Panthers a convincing 61-40 lead into the fourth. 

The Panthers did not let up in the final quarter, getting up by as much as 27 points. The Beacons had no chance of making a comeback, and the Panthers came away with the victory, 83-60.

While this was a huge victory to get the Panthers to first place in the conference, it was an even bigger victory for Head Coach Tanya Warren. With the UNI win, Coach Warren recorded her 300th career victory. The game also marked her 507th game coached, giving her the all-time record for games coached in the Missouri Valley Conference, two amazing milestones for Coach Warren.

“Today was another terrific team win,” Coach Warren said after the game. “As for the milestones today, I can’t say enough about the past and present people who have helped me throughout the course of my journey. This milestone could not be possible without them. This is way bigger than me, it always has been. It’s a lot to take in. It’s hard to process that I was introduced to this game at five and for 50 plus years had my dad at my side. We lost him in June and I’m still trying to process all of this without him. It’s a lot and I’m extremely blessed to be surrounded by amazing people. Our administration, our staff, our players. This is all a credit to everybody that’s been a part of this program.”

All in all, it was a great day for the Panthers. However, things are only getting more exciting. The Panthers next game is against conference co-leader Illinois State. The Panthers won the first matchup, but the winner of this one will be in sole possession of first place in the conference. The Panthers will be hosting Illinois State in the McLeod Center on Thursday, Feb. 16. The game will start at 6 p.m.