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Women’s College Basketball: UNI defeats Saint Louis Billikens, 84-64

CEDAR FALLS - The Panthers had contributions from their entire lineup in the 84-64 route of the Saint Louis Billikens.

CEDAR FALLS – The Panthers had contributions from their entire lineup in the 84-64 route of the Saint Louis Billikens.

A career-high game for point guard Maya McDermott and two other players scoring in double figures were the highlights of a bounce-back offensive game for UNI. Along with McDermott setting personal bests, forward Grace Boffeli notched her second double-double in as many games. It was an all-around performance for the Panthers in their second win of the season.

“I thought we did a terrific job of moving the basketball from side to side,” said Head Coach Tanya Warren of the win. “We got some dribble penetration downhill to get to some open shooters. But our ball movement was very important to that. And I thought our kids stepped and made some big shots.”

It was a tight game to start for UNI as the Billikens grabbed an early lead off a three-point shot. The Panthers would go back and forth for the lead with Saint Louis well into the second quarter. There were five different lead changes and four ties through 16 minutes.

But UNI would take the lead for the final time on a Kayba Laube three-pointer with just over four minutes to go in the second. To end the first half, the Panthers scored 10 points in four minutes to take a close 35-32 lead into the locker room.

The lead for UNI would quickly grow to eight points in the second half as McDermott and guard Kam Finley made three shots. It would be a back-and-forth game until 3:11 left in the third quarter. The Panthers would jump out to their first double-digit lead of the game on a 10-point run.

UNI continued its strong offense into the fourth quarter, outscoring the Billikens 25-19. McDermott scored 10 of her 23 points in the final frame helping lead the Panthers to the 84-64 win.

Points leaders for UNI included McDermott at 23, Boffeli at 12, and Finley at 11. The eight other Panther players in Sunday’s game scored at least two points each. Guards Riley Wright and Cailyn Morgan also either set or tied their personal bests in scoring. On defense, Boffeli led in rebounds with 11 while forward Ryley Goebel had nine. Goebel also led UNI in blocks with four through 14 minutes of play.

The Panthers welcome the No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones to the McLeod Center for a marquee midweek matchup. UNI fell just short of a win against Iowa State last season at Hilton Coliseum and looks to take revenge at home court on Wednesday. Tipoff for the game is set for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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