CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa won its fourth game in five tries and maintained a tie for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 73-54 victory over the Southern Illinois Salukis at the McLeod Center.
UNI (15-14 overall, 9-8 MVC) had a career-high 15 points from freshman Jeremy Morgan and junior Seth Tuttle flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Junior Matt Bohannon sank five second-half 3-pointers and tallied 17 points in the victory.
SIU (12-18 overall, 8-9 MVC) was led by Anthony Beane Jr.’s 17 points. The Panthers limited Desmar Jackson to 10 points – 9.1 below his season average.
The Panthers won the rebounding battle, 35-24. In the teams’ previous meeting in Carbondale on Jan. 14, SIU won the rebounding battle, 36-26.
Tuttle led the early scoring for the Panthers as he tallied six of the first nine UNI points and the home squad had a 9-2 lead three minutes into the contest. SIU trimmed the lead back to six at 16-10 following a bucket from Tyler Smithpeters with 12:03 left in the first half. UNI then went on an 11-0 run to take a 27-10 lead with 6:50 before half. SIU rallied to cut the UNI lead to 32-25 at the break as Beane scored on a putback with :01 before the intermission.
UNI opened the second half on a 10-3 run that was keyed by seven points from Morgan and a 3-pointer from Bohannon. The Panthers maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way. Bohannon drained a 3-pointer with 2:01 left to post UNI’s biggest lead of the night at 19 points, 73-54.
UNI will close the regular season Saturday at Indiana State. Tip is slated for 12 p.m. (CT) at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The game will be shown live on ESPNU.