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College Basketball: UNI routed in conference opener versus Belmont, 90-70

CEDAR FALLS - UNI men's basketball cut away at Belmont's 14-point first half lead late in the opening period, but struggled to slow the Bruins' three-point shooting and ability to draw contact in a 90-70 home loss on Wednesday night to open Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.

CEDAR FALLS – UNI men’s basketball cut away at Belmont’s 14-point first half lead late in the opening period, but struggled to slow the Bruins’ three-point shooting and ability to draw contact in a 90-70 home loss on Wednesday night to open Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play.

Returning home after a convincing 22-point victory over Stanford at the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, Northern Iowa moved the ball well around the floor with 15 assists, but were challenged by Belmont’s size and speed from the opening tip.

Northern Iowa’s offense started slow out of the gate in Wednesday’s matchup as the Bruins raced up and down the floor knocking down five baskets from three-point range and opening on a 14-2 scoring run. The Panthers, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the opening stanza, were able to take advantage of eight turnovers by Belmont and slowed the opposing offense, climbing back into the game on a 10-0 run with Trey Campbell leading the way with ten first-half points. Nate Heise scored five points in the opening period, as Cole Henry tallied four points and both Michael Duax and Kyle Pock posted three points each as Belmont carried a 37-31 lead into halftime.

Both the Panthers and Bruins shot over 50% from the floor in the second half, but Northern Iowa would struggle greatly off the glass being outrebounded 17-8 and 4-0 on offense boards. UNI also surrendered 13 points off turnovers to Belmont, and committed 13 personal fouls in the final trip to give the Bruins 15 points off of free throw attempts. The Panthers were able to knock down five three-point baskets in the final frame, but could not overcome a double-digit deficit in the 20-point loss.

Campbell led UNI with 13 points on the night, shooting five-of-ten from the floor with three triples. Duax recorded a season-high 12-point game as Anderson tallied eight points and a team-leading seven rebounds. Heise posted a seven-point outing and a team-high four assists, with Born also scoring seven points, and both Jacob Hutson and Pock scoring six points each.

The Panthers fall to 0-3 all-time against the Bruins with Wednesday’s loss.

Wednesday’s loss to the Bruins snaps a brief two-game winning streak for UNI in MVC home openers. The Panthers defeated Evansville in their last two conference opening games at home.
UNI is 8-9 in its last 17 conference opening games.

Tytan Anderson’s eight rebounds against Belmont move him just three boards shy of surpassing 400 in his career.
Trey Campbell is four points away from passing 300 in his career after a 13-point game on Wednesday night.

The Panthers hit the road this Saturday, December 2 to take on the Evansville Purple Aces in league play. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT at the Ford Center with live coverage available on ESPN+ and the Panther Sports Radio Network.

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