Panthers windswept by Cyclones


After winning three straight games against several notable opponents before the end of last semester, the Panthers have found themselves in a mid-season slump. On Dec. 16, the UNI men’s basketball team faced off against the Iowa State Cyclones in the Hy-Vee Classic. The Panthers’ offense was shaky from the start, only shooting 38 percent from the field.

Iowa State freshman Lindell Wigginton finished the game with 20 points, carrying the Cyclones past the Panthers with a final score of 76-65. The following week, UNI played no. 10 Xavier at home. The Panthers came out strong in the first half, leading 22-12 with some impressive baskets by Klint Carlson.

The Musketeers responded with 13 unanswered points shortly before intermission; a three point basket by Spencer Haldeman would tie things at halftime 29-29.  Xavier then jumped out to a 10 point lead early in the second half, but the Panthers soon started a run of their own, scoring 10 unanswered points.

Tied 46-46, Xavier would jump ahead with a couple of three pointers. The Panthers eventually lost the contest 77-67.

In their next game, the Panthers would take on Southern Illinois at home on Dec. 28.

The winner of this one came down to the final second, but the Panthers fell short to Southern Illinois 56-53.

With three consecutive losses, UNI looked to gain some momentum against Bradley on the road in Peoria. The Panthers led 33-32 going into halftime, but the Bradley Braves would take off with a big 23-3 run in the second half to run the Panthers off the court, the final score being 72-53.

Following the Bradley game, the Panthers would hit the road to play conference rival Missouri State. Three UNI starters scored double digit points in this matchup.

Freshman Tywon Pickford scored 18 points and 10 rebounds by the end of regulation. Carlson followed suit, scoring 16 points with nine rebounds. Koch also had a great game, going five for seven from the floor.

After trailing by 19 points in the second half, the Panthers would narrow their deficit to five points with 27.5 on the clock. However, after costly fouls by the Panthers, the Bears would walk away with a win at home and a final score of 62-55.

In their most recent contest, the UNI men’s basketball team took on Loyola at home in the McLeod Center. After a big three-point basket by Pickford with four minutes remaining, the Ramblers would take the lead with another clutch three-pointer from Ben Richardson. The Panthers turned the ball over, which resulted in an and-one. The Ramblers missed the free throw attempt, and Pickford pushed the ball down court with an open look from three point range, but Haldeman would not make the shot.

This led to another Ramblers basket to put them up by six with little to no time left for a comeback. The Panthers fell short again, 56-50. Pickford ended the game with a double double, scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds.