UNI drops season opener, 84-78, first Nov. loss in McLeod



The UNI men’s basketball team opened their season against the Colorado State Rams on Saturday in the McLeod Center. The Panthers fell to the Rams, 84-78. The loss marks the first home opener defeat under head coach Ben Jacobson.

Senior Jeremy Morgan started off hot as he contributed eight of the first 14 points for the Panthers. Morgan finished the game with a career- and game-high with 20 points. Most of the first half was a tug of war as neither team held a lead of more than five points until 5:25 left in the half, when the Rams gained a small lead after an 8-0 run. The lead dropped to four, but a three-pointer from Colorado State’s Prentiss Nixon ended the half with a 42-35 Panther deficit.

Matt Bohannon and company were able tie it up 48-48 within the first five minutes of the second half, with Bohannon scoring seven points in the run. Bohannon finished the game with 17 points. Colorado State gained back the lead moments later, however, and kept it.

CSU’s Joe De Ciman put together a 7-0 run just by himself. Paul Jesperson and Bohannon cut the lead down to three, but the Rams answered back with an 11-0 run and a 69-55 lead. The Panthers rallied back to be behind by only three points with two minutes remaining, but they could not close it out.

The Rams outscored the Panthers in the paint, 36-22.

Three of the Colorado State starters scored 16 points.

While three Panthers led the way- Morgan, Washpun and Bohannon, who all scored more than 17 points-the rest of the team failed to break 10 points. The Panther bench was also outscored by the Rams, 18-13.

The Panthers will return to the McLeod Center early Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. to play Stephan F. Austin (0-1). That game will be a part of ESPN’s 24 Hours of College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on ESPN2.