Defense leads UNI to 64-45 win over BSU

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BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

UNI men’s basketball played their second of two exhibition games on Nov. 9 against the Bemidji State Beavers. 

A 3-point play from Deon Mitchell started a 14-1 run for UNI. Mitchell tied the team-high for scoring with 10 points.

Bemidji State countered and went on a 20-5 run of their own, but the lead did not last long. 

The Panther defense stepped up to keep the Beavers off the scoreboard for the remainder of the first half. 

The second half started with a tug-of-war with the split staying even. Bemidji State’s Lutes Brock kept the game close with a couple 3-pointers. Brock scored a game-high 11 points, nine of which came from behind the 3-point line.

UNI’s lead increased with the help of Seth Tuttle and the defense during a 10-1 run. Tuttle and Wyatt Lohaus gave the Panthers another 9-0 run and the biggest lead of the game 62-39. 

 “The defense was more aware of what was going on around us,” said UNI Head Coach Ben Jacobson. “We were more aggressive with our ball-screen defense than we were a week ago. But we did not rebound the ball enough again. The numbers are a little bit better than last time out, but there are too many balls going off the rim and we have nobody going to get them. We didn’t finish off possessions in terms of getting rebounds.” 

The Beavers managed a couple 3-pointers toward the end of the game, but the game was already gone. UNI came out on top 64-45.

The Panthers are now warmed up from exhibition play and ready for the regular season.

“[With the two exhibition games], you get a few things out of your system. Seth is looking forward to getting this thing started,” Jacobson said. “Sometimes you play too fast because you want to do right and do well. So you hope that gets out of their system. And with the young guys like Wyatt, Klint, and Bennett [Koch], they’ve been on the floor now and more ready next week than they have been.”

The regular season tips off for UNI on Saturday, Nov. 15 against North Dakota.