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Women’s College Basketball: UNI shuts Down No. 21 SDSU 65-48

This news story was published on December 13, 2020.
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CEDAR FALLS – Karli Rucker scored 18 points and the Panther defense forced 20 turnovers and held No.21 South Dakota State to just 48 points in a 65-48 win Saturday afternoon at the McLeod Center.

SDSU started off strong with a 6-0 run. Kam Finley hit the first layup to get the scoring going for UNI. The Panthers notched assists on the first four made baskets.

South Dakota State led until the middle of the second quarter. The two teams traded leads momentarily, but Emerson Green hit a pair of free throws with 4:09 left in the first half and UNI never trailed again. UNI led 28-23 at the break without hitting a three-pointer in the first half. That trend would not continue.

In the third quarter alone, the Panthers went 6-9 (66.7%) from behind the arc. Nicole Kroeger, Cynthia Wolf, Green, Maya McDermott, and Rucker all hit treys in the third.

The Jackrabbits cut the UNI lead to 30-29 with 7:44 remaining in the third quarter, but UNI went on a 17-2 run to blow open the game and never looked back.

The Panthers forced South Dakota State into 21 turnovers and collected 25 points off of turnovers.

Rucker’s 18 points moved her past Jen Keitel for 17th on the UNI all-time scoring list. She is now two points away from Jessie Biggs for the No. 16 spot on the list. Megan Maahs was the next highest scorer for the Panthers Saturday evening recording 10 points. Wolf scored nine points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

The Panthers were 16-18 (88.9%) from the free-throw line for the day. UNI tallied 13 assists on 21 made shots.

SDSU’s forward, Payton Burckhard, led the Jackrabbits scoring 18 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and one assist. Myah Selland ended the game with 16 points, four rebounds, and one assist, helping SDSU’s 26 points in the paint.

UNI’s last win against a ranked team was a 67-59 win over No. 24 Kansas St. on Dec. 22, 2016.

The Panthers don’t have to wait long for another shot at a ranked team. UNI returns to McCoy Court Tuesday for a game against Iowa State on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. The Cyclones are ranked 24th in the WBCA Coaches’ Poll and are receiving votes in the AP Poll.

UNI returns the trip to South Dakota State on Dec. 23.

– Karli Rucker scored 18 points Saturday and is now two points away from Jessie Biggs at the 16th spot on the 1,000 Point Club List with 1,094 points.
– Megan Maahs scores 10 points for the Panthers and grabbed six rebounds, advancing her career total rebounds to 743.
– The Panthers went 6-9 (66.7%) from the three-point line in the third quarter.
– Cynthia Wolf grabbed a team-high eight rebounds against South Dakota State.
– The last time UNI defeated a ranked team in the McLeod Center was against No. 24 Kansas St. in 2016.
– UNI tallied assists on its first four made baskets and 13 total on 21 made shots for the game.
– Grace Boffeli, Maya Gyamfi and Kayba Laube all saw the court for the first time in the final minute of the game.

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