CEDAR FALLS – UNI led from start to finish and held off a second half push by Southern Illinois on Saturday at home as the Panthers picked up a 69-57 win over the Salukis in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play. The Panthers even their record at 8-8 on the season and improve to 4-2 in league play.
In a battle against the MVC’s second-best scoring defense, the Panthers held SIU under its season average of 59.8 points allowed per game. UNI has not allowed the Salukis to score 60 or more points inside the McLeod Center since 2008.
The Panthers jumped out with another hot start with a 7-0 run to open the game with 5 made three-pointers in the opening stanza, including a pair of baskets from distance from Landon Wolf. While the Salukis stifled the Panthers in the paint in the opening period, UNI was able to capitalize with 11 points scored off 8 SIU turnovers. Bowen Born shot a perfect 5-of-5 attempts from the free throw line for 12 first half points, as Tytan Anderson pulled down 5 rebounds with 7 points as UNI carried a 35-29 lead into halftime.
UNI held Preseason First Team All-MVC forward Marcus Domask to just 4 points for the first 35 minutes of play and slowed the Salukis offense down considerably from the first period with SIU shooting 33.3% from the floor. SIU was able to close the gap with 12 made free throws in the second half and cut the Panther lead to just two points with just over 3 minutes to play. UNI’s defense stepped up to the challenge and held the Salukis scoreless for the final 2 minutes, 40 seconds as the Panthers iced the game away at the charity stripe.
Born finished with a game-high 27 points and 3 rebounds in the win, while Anderson recorded his 7th double-double of the season with a final stat line of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Wolf dropped 8 points, tying his career-high with 3 steals in the UNI victory, as Cole Henry scored 4 of his 7 points in the second half with a career-high 12 rebounds. Michael Duax and Trey Campbell each scored 6 points for the Panthers with James Betz finishing with 5 points.
UNI narrows the all-time series record with Saturday’s win over the Salukis. SIU leads the series 38-36. The Panthers are 24-9 against Southern Illinois all-time at home.
SIU’s seven-game winning streak heading into Saturday afternoon was the longest active streak in the MVC.
The Panthers dominated the rebounding battle against the Salukis, outrebounding SIU 35-25, and 10-3 on offensive boards.
Bowen Born’s 27-point effort ties the 3rd highest scoring game of his career. Born also became the 71st member of UNI’s 800-career point club with his 820th point scored against SIU.
Tytan Anderson’s leads the MVC with 7 double-doubles this season.
Landon Wolf scored his 100th career points on Saturday as part of his 8-point performance.
The Panthers return home on Tuesday, January 10 to take on MVC newcomer Murray State in the first all-time meeting between the two programs. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT inside the McLeod Center with the game being broadcast live on PSN/ESPN+ and on the Panther Sports Radio Network.