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College Basketball: UNI defeats Illinois State in First Round of Arch Madness, 65-60

This news story was published on March 4, 2021.
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ST. LOUIS – The UNI men’s basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament after defeating the Redbirds 65-60 on Thursday night.

The Panthers and Redbirds traded early leads before Illinois State moved out front, leading as many as 7 midway through the first half. The Panthers managed to tie the game 23-23 with 4:50 remaining and took a 30-29 lead into halftime following a diving layup by Noah Carter in the paint. The first half saw 5 lead changes and 6 ties.

The Panthers went 12-27 from the field and 0-9 from beyond the arch in the first 20 minutes of play. The Redbirds outrebounded the Panthers 20-12 while the Panthers won the turnover battle, recording only 4 first half turnovers to the Redbirds 10. Austin Phyfe reached 10 points within just 12 minutes, his ninth straight game in double figures. Phyfe went 5-5 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line for a team high 13 points at the break.

Starting the second half 2-7 from the field the Redbirds took the lead early in the second half. After going 0-13 from beyond the arch to start the game Noah Carter made the team’s first three and regained the lead with 10:50 left in the game. The 44-43 lead was the first for UNI since leading 33-31.

The Panthers and Redbirds traded leads down the stretch until the Panthers managed to pull ahead by 4 following a deep jumper from Austin Phyfe and a made three from Nate Heise with 4:28 remaining. Bowen Born and Trae Berhow knocked down shots in the final minutes to seal the 5 point victory.

-Austin Phyfe scored a game high 21 points going 9-14 from the field. Phyfe hauled in 9 rebounds.
-Tywhon Pickford finished with the second highest point total of the season with 11 points and 9 rebounds, finishing 1 rebound shy of a double-double.
-The Panthers shot 43.3% (26-60) from the field but shot 19.0% (4-21) from beyond the three point arch.
-UNI scored 38 points in the paint
-UNI scored 20 points off Redbird turnovers.

-Dusan Mahorcic led the Redbirds with 15 points while DJ Horn and Antonio Reeves scored 10 points apiece.
-Three Redbirds hauled in 7 rebounds in Dusan Mahorcic, DJ Horn and Howard Fleming Jr.
-The Redbirds shot 41.1% (24-58) from the field.
-The Redbirds scored 32 points in the paint.
-The Redbirds scored 19 points off the bench.

The Panthers will play the Bulldogs of Drake on Friday at 5 pm. The game will be broadcast on the MVC TV Network.

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