CANCUN, MEXICO – The UNI men’s basketball team took on the Gamecocks of South Carolina in the third place game in the Riviera Division at the Cancun Challenge, the Panthers defeated the Gamecocks 78-72 and moved to 7-1 on the season.
The Panthers and Gamecocks battled early in the first half before the Panthers moved out to a 11 point lead with 2:33 remaining in the half. Trae Berhow led all scorers after 20 minutes of play, going 4-5 from beyond the arc for 12 points. Collectively the Panthers shot 50% from distance, making 6 three pointers in the first half.
The Gamecocks came back early in the second half, tying the game six times and holding a 2 point lead with 7:38 remaining in the game. A Trae Berhow hit a three at the 7:12 mark put the Panthers up by one and the Panthers never looked back. AJ Green made a three and went 6-6 from the free throw line in the final four minutes to seal the six point victory.
The Panthers held the lead for just over 28 minutes and won the turnover battle 8-13. The Panthers shot 49% from the field ad 40% from beyond the arc. Both teams finished with 28 points in the paint while the Panthers scored 28 off the bench.
AJ Green leads the Panthers in scoring, going 7-16 from the field and 10-10 from the free throw line for 26 points
Trae Berhow went 5-8 from three, finishing with 15 points
Tywhon Pickford led the Panthers with 7 rebounds (2 OR, 5 DR)
Austin Phyfe finished with 6 rebounds (3 OR, 3 DR)
Antwan Kimmons recorded a team high 3 assists
The Panthers, now 7-1, will take on the Norse of Luther College on Monday, December 2. Luther, a Division III opponent playing in the American Rivers Conference, are 4-3 on the season. Monday’s game will tip off at 6 pm in the McLeod Center, with an ESPN3 broadcast. There will be a Toys-For-Tots Drive and 1$ hotdogs.