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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 Competes in Battle 4 Atlantis

Freshman+RJ+Taylor+hits+a+jump+shot+against+Texas+Tech+in+the+second+of%0Athree+games+in+the+Battle+4+Atlantis+Tournament.
COURTESY
Freshman RJ Taylor hits a jump shot against Texas Tech in the second of three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.

The UNI men’s basketball team spent Thanksgiving break on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where they participated in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The week of Thanksgiving is known as Feast Week in college basketball, as there are several tournaments and a bunch of games throughout the week. The Battle 4 Atlantis is one of the best tournaments over this time. This year it featured North Carolina, Michigan, Villanova, Texas Tech, Memphis, Arkansas, Stanford and, obviously, our very own Northern Iowa Panthers. The Panthers played three games over the week, and went 1-2. They lost their first two games against North Carolina and Texas Tech, but were able to end the trip with a victory against Stanford. 

UNI got to open up the tournament against one of the best programs in the nation, as they faced off with #14 North Carolina on Wednesday, Nov. 22. This was not the first time the two teams had faced off, as they had played three times before. In 2015, UNI actually hosted and beat North Carolina when they were the number one ranked team in the country. The Panthers looked to pick up another win against them in the Bahamas. Things started off well for the Panthers, as they were leading going into the half, 41-35. North Carolina came out in the second half on fire, after a poor shooting display in the first. The Panthers had a hard time matching them in the second half, and North Carolina went on to win 91-69.

The next game for the Panthers was against Texas Tech, who they played on Thursday, Nov. 23. Just like in the game against North Carolina, the Panthers had a great first half. A Nate Heise three with almost no time left in the half, gave the Panthers a 40-31 lead going into the break. Things continued to go well for the Panthers in the second half, as they built a lead as big as 15 points. It looked like they might run away with it, but the Red Raiders started to storm back. A Bowen Born 3-pointer with just over 10 minutes left in the game had the Panthers up 61-47, but Texas Tech went on a huge run. With 4:29 left in the game, they took the lead away from the Panthers, 65-64. The game was back-and-forth the rest of the way, and a Tytan Anderson three late in the game tied it up at 70. Texas Tech had the ball with a chance to win the game on the last shot, and Pop Isaacs was able to do just that. He made the game-winning shot with just two seconds left. 

The Panthers looked to make sure they did not leave the Bahamas winless, with a game against Stanford on Friday, Nov. 24. The Panthers came out ready to play, and were dominating the Cardinals. They jumped out to a 28-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, and continued the dominance to a 49-27 lead at the half. The Panthers’ big lead in the first half made things easy in the second. They coasted on the way to a dominant 73-51 victory. 

The 1-2 record in the tournament brings the Panthers record to 2-4 on the season. They will play again on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when they host Belmont for the first conference game of the season.

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ADAM JOHNSON, Sports Writer

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