VALPARAISO, Ind. –A three-point shot at the buzzer was deflected and UNI women’s basketball fell 72-69 on the road Friday.
The Panthers and Crusaders were identical from the field, both going 26-53 (49%) from the field, but Valpo hit two more three-pointers than UNI and hit one more free throw.
The Panthers led 39-35 at the half and the game was tied at 56 after three quarters before Valparaiso went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth. UNI cut the lead to 64-62 with 4:33 left, but couldn’t regain the lead and lost by three.
Karli Rucker scored a team-high 20 points, Karli Rucker added 15, Bre Gunnels scored 11 and Megan Maahs didn’t miss a shot all game and scored 10 points and added a game-high eight points.
Rucker’s 20 points gives her 984 points for her career and puts her just 16 points away from becoming the 25th member of the 1,000-point club at UNI.
The loss is the first against Valparaiso since the Crusaders joined the MVC ahead of the 17-18 season and the first since the 2005 season.
The Panthers face Loyola in the final road game of the season Sunday at 2 p.m. The Ramblers lost to Drake 83-75 Friday in Chicago.