Panthers tip off exhibition play

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BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

The UNI Panthers men’s basketball season began on October 30th with an 83-66 exhibition win over the Upper Iowa Peacocks. 

The offense rolled from the start with a 3-pointer from Matt Bohannon that lead to a 17-2 run. Seniors Deon Mitchell and Marvin Singleton both kept Upper Iowa on their toes with the two scoring for 11 and 9 first-half points. A 37-16 lead was cut down by UNI fouls, being out-rebounded, and some late Upper Iowa runs. The first half ended with a 48-37 UNI lead.

Upper Iowa seemed to have momentum going into the second half. A 3-pointer by Josh Weeber cut the lead to 48-40. Weeber went on to lead the game with 15 points. Emergence from junior Paul Jesperson and freshman Wyatt Lohaus, both whom made their Panthers debuts, gave UNI the offensive power that was needed. Lohaus would go to co-lead the Panthers in scoring with Mitchell, both with 13 points. UNI was victorious 83-66.

UNI gave up too many rebounds as they were beaten in that category 36-34. Upper Iowa was able to stay in the game with the help of 13 offensive rebounds, 9 coming from the first half.

 “If we rebound the ball in the first half, it (the lead) was going to get stretched out pretty well,” said UNI Head Coach Ben Jacobson. “It got to a 20 point lead. If we rebound and cut back on some fouling, we would’ve had a chance to have a bigger spread on the game.”

Those rebounds went on to give the Peacocks 12 second-chance points. UNI was not able to have the same success having only 4 offensive rebounds during the entire game.

“Rebounding will be a big emphasis on the next couple practices,” said redshirt-freshman Bennett Koch.

UNI will have their next exhibition game against Bemidji State at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 9 at the McLeod Center.