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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

UNI defeated by North Texas in season opener

The UNI Men’s Basketball team had a tough road test to start the season against North Texas, the defending NIT champions. The teams were tied after regulation, but the Panthers came up short in overtime losing 83-77.

Landon Wolf had a great game for the Panthers, with 18 points. UNI fell to North Texas in their first official game of the year. (STEPH STARK)

The Panthers rallied from a double-digit deficit late in the second half to force overtime, but did not have enough left in the tank to close out the game. 

From the tip both teams were red hot as the Mean Green jumped out to an early lead. UNI would not go away as their defense held North Texas scoreless for nearly five minutes. The Panthers continued to chip at the lead and trailed at the end of the half 38-36. 

Leading the way in the first half for UNI was Landon Wolf who had 13 of the 36 points, including three buckets from behind the arc. Along with Wolf, Nate Heise and Tytan Anderson each added seven points of their own. 

After the break, both teams traded scores for the first couple minutes until North Texas went on a tear, going on a 16-3 run over the course of nearly five minutes to go up 58-47. 

With less than 10 minutes left in the game, UNI had to dig themselves out of a hole to get the game within reach. 

Shortly after a TV timeout with seven minutes remaining, the Panthers found life from a pair of threes, courtesy of Wolf and Bowen Born, cutting the lead to five points, 64-59. As UNI continued on their run they reclaimed the lead, 65-64. 

After trading baskets for the remaining minute, UNI had the ball for the final shot, Heise drove to the basket and missed a contested layup when Wolf secured the rebound for a second attempt. His shot was also heavily contested, and the regulation came to an end, tied at 68. 

The Mean Green scored the first six points of overtime and created a deficit that UNI couldn’t come back from. Though UNI battled hard and left it all on the court, they came up short 83-77. 

UNI dominated in the paint, out scoring the Mean Green 42-20. Free throws and fouls proved to be an issue down the stretch for UNI as the team struggled from the charity stripe shooting 7-12 (58.3%), compared to UNT shooting 18-22 (81.8%). UNI committed 22 fouls compared to UNT’s 14. 

Heise led the way in scoring for the Panthers with 20 points. Wolf added 18, while Born contributed 14.

UNI will return home for their home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 14 against the Loras Duhawks, a Division III school located in Dubuque, Iowa. The opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+ or listened to on the Panther Sports Radio Network.

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STEPH STARK, Head Photographer

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