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Women’s College Basketball: No. 12 Iowa defeats UNI, 88-74

IOWA CITY – UNI women's basketball fought toe-to-toe with No. 12 Iowabut stumbled in the second half in an 88-74 loss against the Hawkeyes.

IOWA CITY – UNI women’s basketball fought toe-to-toe with No. 12 Iowabut stumbled in the second half in an 88-74 loss against the Hawkeyes.

The Panthers led on the glass throughout the game, getting 42 boards to the Hawkeyes’ 35. Even with some of their best defense, UNI couldn’t overcome Iowa’s 90% shooting from the charity stripe. The Panthers also had a decent day on offense, with four players scoring in double-figures.

“I thought it was a really good game,” said Head Coach Tanya Warren. “I thought we played extremely well. I thought in the third quarter we kind of got away from it in a stretch where we couldn’t score. You have to give Iowa credit, I think any time you can score 26 points off of turnovers and get to the line 31 times, you’re going to win lots of basketball games. I thought our mindset was really good. I liked how we defended. I thought our offense was pretty good early. For the most part, I was pleased, we just need to eliminate some live ball turnovers. That will help this team continue to get better.”

It was a slow start for both teams on Sunday afternoon with free throws being the first points made. The first made shot didn’t come until two minutes into the game. The Hawkeyes would have the early lead, but UNI found its three-point shooting early, tying up the game twice before grabbing its first lead. It’d be back-and-forth the rest of the way, with the Panthers coming out on top by one thanks to a 9-4 run to end the first.

UNI stayed hot in the first minute of the second quarter, grabbing four points in the time frame. The teams traded shots for the next two minutes until Caitlin Clark hit her only three-pointer. Iowa would take the lead for the rest of the quarter by going on an 11-point run into the midway mark. It returned to a back-and-forth game at the line until the final three minutes of the half. The Hawkeyes would have another long run to go up by seven into the break.

Iowa’s lead grew to nine early in the third, but the Panthers came back on a three-point play from forward Grace Boffeli to get it back within six. But the quarter would become a free throw fest as the Hawkeyes went 13 of 14 from the line through eight minutes. UNI wouldn’t put a run together until the final minute and a half as forward Rachael Heittola and guard Emerson Green combined for five points.

The final quarter started all Panthers as forward Cynthia Wolf and Green made back-to-back shots, bringing the deficit down to single digits. UNI was able to get the game within five points with seven minutes left on the clock thanks to a Maya McDermott foul following a Boffeli and-1. But Iowa would start hitting threes pushing the game out of reach in the final four minutes.

The Panthers would have one of their better games at the line against the Hawkeyes, going 12-16 (75% at the stripe. UNI also had a good day in the field, making 27 shots on 66 attempts (40.9%). The Panthers struggled from behind the arc, only going 8-30 (26.7%) through 40 minutes. But where UNI really shined was on defense, with 42 rebounds, seven steals, and two blocks.

Boffeli, McDermott, Green, and guard Kam Finley all scored in double-figures, with Boffeli leading the way at 16. Rebounding was evenly spread among the Panthers, with Wolf edging out Boffeli and forward Ryley Goebel by grabbing eight boards. Green had a record day on defense, recording a season-high three steals and one block.

All-American Caitlin Clark had a team-high 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals for Iowa.

Iowa extended its winning streak over the Panthers to three.

Iowa is 3-0 against Division I teams in the state this year. (@Drake W 92-86, and #10 Iowa State W, 70-57)


UNI will take a break for the holidays over the next week. But the Panthers will return to action to start the Missouri Valley Conference season and end 2022. UNI will begin MVC play on the road with a 7 p.m. tip against Bradley on Dec. 30 in Peoria, Ill.

The nationally ranked Hawkeyes are set to host Dartmouth for its final non-conference matchup on Dec. 21. Tip-off in Iowa City is set for 2:01 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Mediacom Court. The game will broadcast on BTN+ (subscription required), Sirius XM (channel 134/195) and on the Hawkeye Radio Network.

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