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UNI beats Iowa State, 81-79 (video)

This news story was published on December 20, 2015.
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Photo via Youtube

Photo via Youtube

DES MOINES, IOWA – The Northern Iowa men’s basketball team beat another top-5 opponent this weekend, this time beating fifth-ranked Iowa State, 81-79.

Last month, Northern Iowa scored a huge road win over then-top-ranked North Carolina. This time, at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines, Wes Washpun led the way with carrier highs of 28 points and 11 assists on 9-14 shooting.

Iowa State fell for the first time this season and is not 9-1. Northern Iowa improves to 7-3 on the season.

Iowa State was down by as much as much as 10 points in the second half before another valiant comeback fell just short. The Cyclones had the chance to tie the game with the final possession, but a Monte Morris tear drop was off the mark.

Georges Niang paced the Cyclones with 30 points (10-17 FG, 9-10 FT) and Jameel McKay added 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

Deonte Burton scored seven points in his first outing as a Cyclone.

UNI couldn’t miss from the opening tip. The Panthers made 13-of-17 shots from the floor and 7-of-9 from 3-point range to forge ahead 34-26 with 6:46 left in the first half. Jesperson helped the Panthers take control by going 4-of-4 from downtown and Washpun made his first six shots from the field.

UNI went into the half with a 46-37 lead while making 65.4 percent of its shots. Niang was a bright spot for the Cyclones in the opening period, tallying 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

ISU briefly cut the lead to five points with two straight buckets from Niang, but the Panthers quickly got the lead back up to double digits, as UNI led 60-50 with 12:52 left in the game.

The Cyclones began to chip away, going on a 16-6 run to tie the game at 66-66 with 7:16 left in the game. ISU forced four turnovers in the run, as Monte Morris scored a pair of buckets in the run.

UNI then answered with two big 3-pointers by Jesperson, as UNI went back up by seven points.

The Cyclones kept fighting, cutting the lead to two points on multiple occasions, but the Panthers always responded. Jameel McKay closed the gap to 75-73 with 3:05 left, but Matt Bohannon buried a big trey to move UNI back up 78-73.

ISU trimmed the lead to a point (78-77) with four free throws and had a chance to take its first lead, but Morris missed in the lane and Washpun was fouled after corralling the rebound. Washpun made both foul shots to give UNI an 80-77 lead with 1:11 remaining.

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