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Women’s College Basketball: Panthers beat IUPUI, 51-50

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – In a game that was highlighted by stifling defense and hard-nosed play, it is fitting that the defining play of the game was an offensive rebound.

Tied 50-50, with under a second to play, Kristina Cavey grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on the tip-in attempt. She hit one of her ensuing free throws to give the UNI women’s basketball team a 51-50 win over IUPUI.

The win improves UNI to 7-3 on the season and completes a perfect home non-conference season for the second year in a row.

The game ended close, but it started with UNI in control. UNI built an 8-2 early lead and led 17-10 after the first. IUPUI cut the lead to 32-28 at the half.

IUPUI went on an 8-0 run in the third to take a 38-37 lead, but the Panthers rallied to close the quarter out with a 5-0 run and led 42-38 after three.

The Jaguars went on another big run, capped by a three-pointer with 52 seconds left to put IUPUI up 50-47. Karli Rucker buried a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to tie the game up at 50.

After a big stop on the defensive end, the Panthers had one more chance, Megan Maahs drove, but her shot bounced out, Cavey crashed the board, gathered the rebound and put it back up in one fluid motion, drawing the foul to send her to the line.

She missed her first free-thow, but buried the pressure packed second shot to put UNI up 51-50 with .6 left on the clock.

IUPUI called timeout to advance the ball, but Rucker stole the inbounds pass and UNI held on for the win.

Maahs and Cavey led the way with 10 points each. Heidi Hillyard and Bre Gunnels had a team-high six rebounds. Gunnels also had three blocks in the game. The Panthers were 18-56 (32.1%) from the field and 5-22 (22.7%) from the three-point line. The Panthers forced 19 turnovers and scored 16 points off of turnovers.

IUPUI was 19-59 (32.2%) from the field and 5-21 (23.8%) from the three-point line.

The Panthers are on the road for their final road non-conference game of the year when they face Iowa State, a week from Sunday at 5 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The Cyclones are 7-2 on the season and 5-1 at home. It will be the fifth power-five game of the season for UNI. The Panthers are 2-2 in those games so far.

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