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Women’s College Basketball: UNI defeats Valparaiso, 79-71

This news story was published on January 9, 2021.
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VALPARAISO, IN – Karli Rucker scored a career-high 32 points and added four assists and five rebounds to lead UNI to a 79-71 road win over Valparaiso Friday evening.

The Panthers shot 52% (26-50) from the field and 26.2% (6-13) from the three-point line and scored 27 points off of 19 Valpo turnovers. The Panthers also outrebounded the Crusaders 33-25.

Rucker was the only Panther in double figures, but Cynthia Wolf and Emerson Green scored nine each. Ten UNI players scored in the game.

The Panthers led 13-6 early and held on to a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Crusaders cut the lead to 16-14 early in the second before a 7-0 run gave UNI a 23-14 lead. The Panthers went on an 8-2 run over the final 3:10 of the half to take a 39-24 lead into the break.

UNI extended the lead to 39-30 early in the third quarter, but Valpo chipped away to cut the lead to 61-42 with a runner at the buzzer.

The Crusaders continued to chip away at the lead throughout the fourth and cut it to 72-66 with 1:37 to play, but it wouldn’t be enough as UNI went 7-8 from the line over the final 65 seconds to hold off the Valpo for the eight-point win.

The Panthers are now 3-1 in MVC play, tied with Drake for the top spot, and 6-5 overall. Valpo falls to 1-1 in Valley play.

UNI is scheduled to play a series against Missouri State on Jan. 15-16 in Cedar Falls. The Bears are the only team that has yet to play a conference game. The series was originally supposed to take place on opening weekend but was delayed because of positive COVID cases in MSU’s Tier-1 personnel. MSU was picked to win the MVC title.

– Kali Rucker set a new career-high with 32 points, topping her previous best of 28.
– Rucker also tied her career-high with 11 made field goals.
– Rucker now has 1,193 career points. She surpassed Alex Cook (1,180) for the No. 14 spot on the UNI All-time scoring list and is just six points away from former teammate Ellie Howell (1,199)
– Megan Maahs scored five points and now sits at 985 career points. She is just 15 points from moving into the 1,000-point club.
– Maahs now has 767 career rebounds and is 21 rebounds from Tami Schebler and the No. 2 spot on the all-time rebound list.

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