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Women’s College Basketball: Panthers advance in WNIT

This news story was published on March 20, 2021.
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ROCKFORD, Ill – The Dayton women’s basketball team took a 7-2 lead in the first quarter, but UNI responded with three consecutive three-pointers from Kam Finley to go up 11-7 and never trailed again en route to a 70-56 win in the WNIT first round Friday morning at the UW Health Sports Factory in Rockford.

Finley went 5-7 from the three-point line to score to score a game-high 23 points. Four other Panthers scored seven or more points.

UNI scored first, but Dayton rattled off a 7-0 run to force a UNI timeout with 5:57 left in the first quarter.

The Panthers responded with a 14-2 run, spurred by Finley’s back-to-back-to-back three-pointers. UNI built a 20-13 lead at the end of one and extended it to 39-29 at the end of the half.

Dayton went on an 8-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to cut the lead to 44-39, but Finley answered the bell again. She hit a three to start a 6-0 run, but Dayton responded to cut the lead to 50-43 at the end of the third.

Kayba Laube hit back-to-back deep three-pointers to give the Panthers a 13-point lead. The Panthers kept the pressure on and built the lead to 70-51 before Dayton scored a pair of buckets in the final minute to cut the final deficit to 70-56.

UNI went 25-59 (42.4%) from the field and 12-30 (40%) from the three-point line. On top of the solid shooting, the Panthers took care of the ball with just seven turnovers, tied for the lowest total all season.

The Panthers are now 15-12 on the season while Dayton falls to 14-4.

UNI moves to 4-8 all-time in WNIT games. The Panthers will face a familiar foe. Former MVC opponent Creighton topped Bowling Green 72-65 to advance to the second round. The Panthers topped Creighton 55-52 in Cedar Falls on Nov. 28. The Blue Jays are 10-11 on the year.

– The win was the first since UNI won two WNIT games in 2016.
– The 14-point margin is the largest ever for UNI in a WNIT game.
– UNI is 4-8 in WNIT games and 7-12 all-time in postseason games.
– Finley’s five made threes tied her career-high.
– The Panthers gave up just seven turnovers. It is tied for the lowest all season when UNI ad just seven against Southern Illinois.

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