Men’s basketball loses last three games

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Men’s basketball loses last three games

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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The UNI Panthers hit the road to play Loyola (Chicago) on Jan. 28. They came off a win at home against Illinois State on Jan. 24, where they scored 19 points in the first half, while also shooting 36 percent from the field in the first half alone.

Offensively, the Panthers could not keep up with the LU Wolfs. Clayton Custer led the way for Loyola with 21 points, and Loyola had three starters in double digit scoring. They scored 17 points off of turnovers in Sunday’s match up.

The Panthers had two starters in double figures scoring: Tywon Pickford and Klint Carlson. Each would end up with 14 points at the end of contest. Loyola finished the contest on top by a large 70-47 margin. UNI has yet to win on the road, with a 0-5 record on the road so far, while Loyola is the MVC’s leader in wins with 19.

In their next showing on Jan. 31, the Panthers played the Evansville Aces in Indiana. Both teams would struggle on offense in the first half, while things were tied at 21 by half. The Panthers had a slightly higher shooting percentage than the Aces. The Aces shot a low 29 percent, while the Panthers shot 31 percent. The Missouri Valley’s leading scorer, Ryan Taylor, ended the first half, with 12 points for the Aces. The Aces would take off in the second half, shooting 68 percent from the field.

The Panthers would keep things even until the fifth minute of the second half. Evansville used two offensive turnovers to break away from the Panthers at home.

At the end of contest, shooting guard Blake Simmons ended the game with a 15 point double-double, including 15 rebounds for the Aces. The Panthers lost another tough road match, 57-49. After two hard losses on the road, the Panthers looked to regain some confidence at home versus Indiana State. Indiana State would win the first meeting this season, 69-67. The Sycamores came out ready to play with a 13-2 run in the first five minutes of play. Both teams’ offenses would come strong in the first.  

Spencer Haldeman led the way for the Panthers with three triples in the first half, followed by senior big man Bennett Koch with seven points. Starting point guard Brenton Scott would end the first half with 10 points. Both teams ended the half with 33 points, and the Panthers shot 52 percent as a team in the first half.

After the first half, the Panthers’ shooting percentage dipped below 50 percent, while the Sycamores increased their shooting percentage to 62 percent in the second half. This would be just enough to keep the Panthers out of reach. Carlson, Koch and Brown scored in double digits on Saturday’s contest.

Koch led with 16 points. Indiana would get the sweep with a final score of 77-66.

The Sycamores would also win the rebounding battle 31-24. The UNI men’s basketball team has lost three in a row and look to bounce back at home against Bradley on Feb. 7 at home.

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