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Panthers drop two conference contests

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Panthers drop two conference contests

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

TONI FORTMANN

PATRICK HANSEN, Sports Writer

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The Panthers hosted Bradley University before traveling to Des Moines to take on Drake University for a two-game stretch this past week.

The purple and gold fell in both contests, losing to the Braves, 79-71 and to the Bulldogs, 83-77, dropping to 10-15 overall and 5-7 in conference play.

The first game of the two-game stretch consisted of UNI hosting Bradley in a Missouri Valley Conference battle.

In a press conference, Coach Ben Jacobson said he knew the Braves had improved since the Panthers faced them five games prior. So much so, that they looked like a different team.

But, in another response, Jacobson stated, “We don’t worry about the standings, we just want to have a good week of practice.”

The Braves started out strong as they got out to a 12-0 lead, not allowing the Panthers to score with their strong man-to-man defense.

UNI scored for the first time with 14:57 left in the first half. The Panthers proceeded to battle back quick, tying up the game at 27-27 with 4:50 remaining in the first half.

Bradley came back extending their lead to 36-32, but the crowd in McLeod got pumped up going into halftime as the Panthers hit a shot just as the buzzer sounded, and headed to the break down by just two, 36-34.

UNI came out quick and dominant as they took their first lead of the game, with the score at 39-38 and  17:58 remaining on the clock.

The contest continued as a back and forth affair, recording eight lead changes in the following minutes. With 1:38 left in the game, the Panthers hit from deep to pull themselves within three points, trailing 70-67.

But, in the final seconds, The Braves’ defense showed to be too strong for the Panthers offense as the Braves knocked off the Panthers with a final score of 79-71.

AJ Green led the way in scoring for the cats with 24 on the night. Wyatt Lohaus was the only other Panther to score in double figures, as he added 12.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Panthers traveled to take on the Drake Bulldogs, looking to take down the in-state rival for the second time this season.

However, the Bulldogs were ready for redemption as they were able to even the series on the year at one win each.

Both teams started out strong as the first half was full of lead changes. Although the teams traded shots back and forth all half long, the Panthers went into halftime trailing 40-36.

UNI started out hot in the second half for the first minute, but then were not able to gain the lead until 9:21 was left in the game.

With 8:42 remaining, Drake tied it up at 61-61, but the Panthers were unable to reclaim the lead, falling to the Bulldogs, 83-77.

Green and Lohaus were once again the only two UNI men to reach double digits in scoring. Green put forth 19 while Lohaus added 16.

The purple and gold will head home to host Illinois State University, looking for redemption after having suffered a loss to the Redbirds earlier this year.

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 in the McLeod Center.

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Panthers drop two conference contests