Panther’s secure best start in 15 years

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BRANDON TJEPKES, Sports Editor

The UNI men’s basketball team started the 2014-15 season with a 7-0 record while becoming champions of the Cancun Challenge over Thanksgiving. They are the only Iowa Big Four school to start undefeated. Seth Tuttle leads in scoring with 16.3 points per game. Marvin Singleton leads in rebounds with 7.2 RPG while Wes Washpun leads in assists with 20 total.

The Panthers continued their success with a 55-50 win against the Richmond Spiders. Tuttle led UNI to a 12-2 run. The Spiders answered back with a 10-3 run to put them within three points. The Spiders scored three points but struggled throughout the first half and did not score again.

The Panthers doubled their points on a 15-3 run that ended with a last second field goal by Washpun, sending UNI into the locker room ahead 30-15. 

The second half was a fight for momentum as both teams negated each other’s scoring. Richmond’s Shawndre Jones put in a 3-pointer to start off the second half. Tuttle added five more points during a 6-4 struggle to increase the lead 36-24. Richmond was able to bring the lead down to eight twice, but both attempts to take the lead were cancelled out. A Washpun 3-pointer with 7:33 remaining extended the lead to 45-34. 

Neither team was able to score for the next three minutes until Richmond started to grab some needed momentum. Richmond was able to cut the lead to five with 1:10 remaining but could not finish it out. UNI made their free throws down the stretch after being fouled four times.

Tuttle and Washpun led UNI in scoring with 17 points and 16 points respectively. The rest of the team struggled to score in the Panthers’ win. Singleton was third in scoring as he contributed eight points. 

The smallest split between the two teams was two points other than a tie that lasted only lasted 20 seconds. The contest marked the first time this season UNI did not score more than 60 points.

UNI looks to remain undefeated as they play George Mason Saturday Dec. 6 at the McLeod Center.