UNI defeats Bemidji State; fall at Texas-Arlington

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UNI defeats Bemidji State; fall at Texas-Arlington

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

Courtesy Photo/UNI Athletics

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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The UNI men’s basketball season is officially underway. The 2018-2019 campaign kicked off strong for UNI as they hosted the Bemidji State Beavers in the McLeod Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

UNI’s offense was superb for the Panthers as they scored 30 points in just ten minutes. The Panthers shot 47 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of play, shooting 17 of 36 field goals including seven of 18 three-point attempts. At the halftime break, UNI led 49-24.

Bemidji State struggled to keep up with the tempo of the game that the Panthers were playing. UNI scored at will in the second half, earning 48 points while holding the Beavers to under 30 points in both halves. Their leading scorer, Ja Morgan, only managed 14 points. 

For the first time since 2015, the Panthers scored 97 points in the 97-51 win over Bemidji State. Wyatt Lohaus ended the game with 19 points, two steals and two assists, all within 24 minutes of play. 

Freshman guard AJ Green finished 16 points, two rebounds and two assists. Isaiah Brown had an efficient scoring outing with 16 points, three rebounds and one assist. 

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Panthers made the trip to Texas to take on University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks in their first road game of the season. UNI seemed to play out of sync versus the Mavericks, with a very limited offense compared to their previous game. 

In the first half, both teams were back and forth scoring wise, with UNI holding the halftime advantage, 33-32.  Three-point baskets were not in the Panthers’ favor in this game, completing two of ten attempts in the first half of play. 

After halftime, the offense continued to be weak for the Panthers. UNI would shoot just over 36 percent and only made one shot from the three-point range. The Mavericks seemed to find their momentum in the second half, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. Despite a well-played first half, the Panthers would suffer their first loss of the season, 74-65.

Key players in the game for UNI included Isaiah Brown, Tywon Pickford and AJ Green. Green stepped up in this game from the win over Bemidji State with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks. 

Pickford, coming off an injury from last season, entered for the first time this season. The sophomore finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists. Brown played all but one minute of the game and ended the night with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks. 

UNI will head to the Paradise Jam Tournament to play three games in the Virgin Islands. The Panthers will take on the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in the first round on Friday, Nov. 16.

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