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Women’s College Basketball: UNI defeats Illinois State, 82-71

This news story was published on January 2, 2021.
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Game photo via UNI Athletics

CEDAR FALLS – UNI women’s basketball finished the third quarter with a 9-0 run to give the Panthers a 54-46 lead. UNI never looked back and rang in the New Year with an 82-71 win over the previously undefeated Illinois State Redbirds in the MVC opener Friday afternoon in Cedar Falls.

UNI led for over 34 minutes of the game, but Illinois State rallied to take a 46-45 lead with 1:49 remaining in the third before Karli Rucker hit a three-pointer to spur the run. Bre Gunnels capped the run with a putback jumper at the buzzer.

The Redbirds never threatened again and the Panthers pulled away for the 11-point win.

Four Panthers scored in double figures tonight. Gunnels led with 18, Rucker scored 15, Megan Maahs added 12 and Kam Finley scored 10.

Illinois State’s Juliunn Redmond scored 21 points to lead all scorers. The Panthers held ISU’s leading scorer Mary Crompton scoreless, with just one shot attempt in 27 minutes on the court.

Gunnels grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, putting her just short of a double-double. Maahs recorded eight and is now one rebound behind Deb Drenth for the No. 3 spot on the UNI All-Time Rebounding list.

As part of the modified MVC schedule, the Panthers and Redbirds meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. at the McLeod Center.

– Bre Gunnels ended the night with 18 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.
– Megan Maahs recorded eight rebounds, bringing her only two rebounds away from taking the No. 3 spot on the All-Time Rebound list.
– This is the first time UNI has beaten Illinois St. since March 2018.
– UNI is the first team to force a loss against Illinois St. this season.
– UNI built an 11-point lead with 5:45 left in the second quarter, but the Redbirds rallied to cut the lead to 32-27 at the half.

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