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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 falls in second round of WNIT

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UNI ATHLETICS
The team met in a huddle before the game to get on the same page.

The Panthers faced the Saint Louis Billikens in the second round of the Women’s NIT Tournament in Saint Louis. The Panthers and the Bilikens fought back-and-forth for most of the game. The Billikens started out scoring in the game but Kayba Laube quickly responded with a 3-pointer to take the lead. A layup from the Billikens was quickly answered with a jump shot from Grace Boffeli. 

Boffeli responded to a Saint Louis field goal with a layup to put the Panthers up 7-6. The Panthers then went on a six point run and a 3-pointer from Maya McDermott helped boost the Panthers to a 13-8 lead. UNI closed the quarter out on a small run and a buzzer-beater shot from Cailyn Morgan helped them to a 17-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Keeping the momentum going, Shateah Wetering knocked down a 3-pointer at the start of the second quarter to extend to a double-digit lead of 20-10. The Billikens would then go on a 8-1 run to gradually close in on the Panther lead with a score of 23-20. The Panthers answered and helped their lead back to seven with back-to-back buckets from Ryley Goebel and Taryn Wharton. Saint Louis answered back to that with back-to-back 3-pointers to close the half and cut the Panther lead to one. 

The second half started with another back-and-forth opening from both teams. The Billikens started out with a bucket, but McDermott answered with some free throws to extend UNI’s lead 34-30. Saint Louis then answered with a 6-2 run to tie the game at 36-36. Wharton then knocked down some free throws before the Billikens went on a four-point run to take the lead at 40-38. McDermott answered with a 3-pointer to put the Panthers back in the lead before yet again Saint Louis went on a five-point run and gave them a four-point lead. The Billikens would end the third quarter with a 49-44 lead. 

Saint Louis started out the fourth quarter with a run, before the Panthers answered with eight points including two 3-pointers from Laube to cut the lead to 54-52. The Billikens answered with another 5-2 run to take an eight-point lead. Laube answered again with two more 3-pointers and Wharton with another jumper, but it wasn’t enough to outlast the Billikens. They answered every Panther bucket with one of their own to obtain the lead and go on to win the game 68-64.

Laube led the UNI offense with 15 points on five 3-pointers. Wharton was the other Panther in double-digits with 10 points. Boffeli and Goebel both finished with team-high seven rebounds. 

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NICOLE WATERS, Sports Writer

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