Sports

Panther Men’s Basketball Rallies For Overtime Win Over Sycamores

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — UNI men’s basketball overcame a 17-point second half deficit on Tuesday night as the Panthers rallied to defeat the Indiana State Sycamore 80-74 in overtime at the McLeod Center.

The Panthers’ record jumps to 8-7 on the season and as UNI picked up a fourth straight Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) victory to improve to 4-1 in league play. Indiana State falls to 8-7 and 1-2 in conference action.

UNI struggled to maintain possession of the ball throughout the first half, allowing the Sycamores to score in transition off of early turnovers. Indiana State also found success from beyond the arc with 6 three-point baskets in the first 20 minutes of play. UNI would pull within one point with 3 minutes to go before halftime, but the Sycamores extended the lead late, scoring on 4 of 7 possessions to close the half and send the Panthers into the locker room trailing 38-30.

Indiana State took a 17-point lead with 13:55 to go in the second period before the UNI offense began to find its rhythm. Noah Carter knocked down 4 shots from distance as the Panthers began to clamp down off the glass with 6 offensive rebounds in the second frame. Forcing 9 Sycamore turnovers in the second half, UNI pulled even on a Nate Heise three-point field goal to tie the game at 65. In the final seconds of regulation, with Indiana State leading by 2 points after a pair of free throws, AJ Green sent the game to overtime on a mid-range jumper with 18 seconds to go.

With the Sycamores in foul trouble in the extra stanza, the Panthers held Indiana State to just 2 points on one made field goal, icing the game away with 6 points from Heise, as well as a pair of Trae Berhow free throws.

With the victory, head coach Ben Jacobson earned his 164th win in MVC league play, passing former Creighton/Saint Louis coach Eddie Hickey for third most in league history.

Carter led the way for UNI with a 17-point performance, his fifth straight conference game with at least 15 points scored. Green posted 16 points for the Panthers, including a perfect 6-for-6 ledger at the free throw line. Bowen Born notched a new season-high in scoring for the second straight game with 14 points, and dished out a team-high 5 assists. Berhow posted 7 points and 8 rebounds for UNI, while Austin Phyfe blocked 2 shots on defense.

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