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UNI moves to 4-2 in the MVC with 94-89 win over Missouri State

This news story was published on January 19, 2014.
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Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications

Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications

Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications –

CEDAR FALLS – The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team improved to 4-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 94-89 victory over the visiting Missouri State University Bears on Saturday in the McLeod Center.

UNI (10-8 overall) got a career-high 26 points from junior forward Nate Buss in his first career collegiate start. Buss made 10-of-13 field goal attempts and 5-of-6 3 pointers in the victory. Buss wasn’t the only Panther to hit a high percentage as the squad shot a season-best 67.4 percent from the floor (31-of-46).

Junior forward Seth Tuttle recorded his second straight 20-plus scoring effort with 21 points and five rebounds. Tuttle made 7-of-8 shots from the field. Junior guard Deon Mitchell and sophomore guard Wes Washpun each added six assists for the Panthers.

UNI had a 13-point lead in the first half with 3:49 left in the half after a three-pointer from sophomore guard Matt Bohannon. But the Panthers did not score over the final 3:49 of the half and the Bears cut the UNI halftime lead to 39-36 with a 10-0 run.

Buss and Bohannon each made 3-pointers in the opening 37 seconds of the second half to give UNI a 45-36 lead.

The Bears battled back and took their first lead of the game at 61-59 on a three-pointer from Gavin Thurman with 9:10 left in the game. On UNI’s ensuing possession, Tuttle found junior guard Max Martino open in the corner for a 3-pointer that gave the lead back to UNI for good at 62-61 with 8:40 left.

Missouri State closed to within two points at 67-65, but the Panthers put together a 12-2 run that opened the margin to 12 at 79-67 with 3:49 left in the game.

The Bears did not go away easily and whittled the lead to two points at 88-86 following a 3-pointer from Austin Ruder with 22.2 seconds left. Tuttle added four free throws and Washpun drained two more in the closing seconds to allow UNI to post the 94-89 triumph.

Missouri State was led in scoring by Ron Mvouika’s game-high 28 points. Mvouika drained 10-of-13 shots from the field, including a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point land.

UNI will travel to Peoria, Ill., for a Wednesday matchup against the Bradley Braves. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at Carver Arena.

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