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Panthers beat Bradley in MVC tourney, 71-46

Photo courtesy of Mike Dunlop
Photo courtesy of Mike Dunlop
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team roared into the semifinals of the 2015 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a 71-46 victory over the Bradley Braves at Scottrade Center.

UNI (28-3 overall) used a 28-7 run in the second half to blow open a two-point game. UNI senior Nate Buss scored a season-high 23 points. Senior Deon Mitchell poured in 11 of his 14 points in the second half to key a 44-21 scoring advantage for the Panthers in the final 20 minutes. UNI senior Seth Tuttle added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

UNI opened up a 21-8 lead in the first half. UNI drained four its five first-half three-pointers in a 17-5 run that gave the No. 2 seed a 13-point lead. However, the Braves did not fold and finished the first half on a 10-0 run to cut the Panthers lead to 27-25 at intermission.

Bradley (9-24 overall) scored the first bucket of the second half to complete a 12-0 spurt and knot the score at 27-27.

UNI led 34-32 before executing its 28-7 run to seize control of the quarterfinal contest.

UNI advances ot the semifinals for the eighth time in school history and first time since 2010. It was UNI’s first quarterfinal victory since the 2010 MVC Tournament.

The Panthers will take on Loyola in the MVC semifinals on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Scottrade Center.

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