Men’s basketball snaps Illinois State’s win-streak, 76-67



Wes Washpun (11) led that Panthers with 18 points and five assists. The Panthers have now won seven of their past eight games

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

The UNI men’s basketball team hosted the Illinois State Redbirds in the McLeod Center with an attending crowd of 6,145. The Panthers secured the win with a final score of 75-66. The last time these two teams squared off, the Redbirds were victorious, finishing 76-67 a month ago. The Panther victory snapped Illinois State’s five-game winning streak.

Just 16 seconds into the game, Wes Washpun got a pass from Jeremy Morgan and slammed the ball down for an early 2-0 Panther lead.

The Redbirds took advantage of a Panther drought to take a 6-0 run. Klint Carlson responded with two three-pointers that kick-started a 10-0 run to retake the lead, 12-6.

UNI gained some momentum as the majority of their following possessions resulted in a bucket. With less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Panthers were ahead, 21-11.

With 49 seconds remaining in the first half, Morgan tipped in a missed shot to bring the halftime score to 40-26 in favor of the Panthers.

Bennett Koch started the second half with a defensive rebound that lead to a Washpun three to increase the Panther lead to 43-26.

After Illinois State’s Paris Lee converted a three-point play off a fast break bucket, UNI’s lead was cut to 49-46 with 10:25 remaining in the game.

After a successful Redbird three ball, their scoring seemed to completely vanish as they could not get any shots to fall for almost three minutes. The Panthers took advantage of this opportunity and ran away with the 65-53 lead with under five minutes remaining.

Two successful free throws by Washpun sealed the deal. Despite last minute Redbird layup, the deficit was far too great and UNI came out on top, 75-66.

The victory clinched the 13th straight season that UNI has a .500 winning percentage in conference games.

Washpun finished the game with 18 points and five assists, leading the team in both categories. Morgan followed closely with 13 points, five blocks and two steals, showing ease on the defensive side of the ball. Paul Jesperson ended the night going 5-7 from the field with 12 points and a steal of his own.

The Panthers’ next game will be at home when they will take on Indiana State on Wednesday, Feb. 24, for senior night.