The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

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

Sycamores end UNI’s Arch Madness run

The Panthers bench and coaching staff celebrates a 3-pointer against the Indiana State Sycamores.

The UNI Men’s basketball team headed down South for the annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, MO. over the weekend.  

The Panthers’ first round matchup was against the Belmont Bruins. The two teams split the season series, with the Bruins winning the first matchup in Nov. with a score of 90-70. The Panthers took the second game in mid-January by a score of 83-72. This game was the rubber match between the two, with the winner advancing to the semifinals. 

In a back-and-forth first half of play, UNI led 37-32 at the break. Trey Campbell and Tytan Anderson spearheaded the offensive attack from mid range jumpers to inside the paint. 

UNI looked to double down on the results from the first half. Anderson continued to dominate on the glass, leading to many short possessions for the Bruins and second chance opportunities for the Panthers. In the end, the Panthers came out victorious, 67-62. 

Anderson cemented himself into the record books, setting a new program postseason record of 19 rebounds. He also added 19 points, a team high. Jacob Hutson added 14 points and Nate Heise contributed 13 of his own. This is the first time in program history that the Panthers have won back-to-back games against Belmont. 

With the win in the quarterfinals, UNI had a date with Indiana State. The Sycamores boasted the league’s best record, earning the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Indiana State won the only matchup of the season, winning by a score of 77-66. The Sycamores had high hopes of winning the tournament and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. 

Indiana State got off to a hot start, making five of their first seven 3-point attempts. The Sycamores built up a 19-point lead early. The Panthers had some fight in them, going on an 8-0 run. Freshman RJ Taylor provided a spark off the bench, collecting three steals and nailing a 3-pointer at the end of the half. The Panthers trailed 44-33 at the break. 

From there, Indiana State put the game away. The Sycamores knocked down seven 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes, winning the game 94-72. Hutson had a career day, scoring 21 points. Bowen Born contributed 12 points of his own. The loss ended the Panthers 2023-2024 campaign with a record of 19-14. The Panthers look to the next season with many players returning to the court.

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