Cedar Falls, Iowa -- Brooks McKowen scored a career-high 27 points as the University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team topped in-state foe Iowa State and former Panther head coach Greg McDermott, 70-57 in the UNI-Dome on Wednesday.
Panther center Eric Coleman notched a double-double, scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Travis Brown added 16 points for UNI.
Four Cyclones scored in double figures, led by Wesley Johnson with 14 points. Rahshon Clark and Jiri Hubalek each added 12 points, and Jessan Gray finished with 11.
The teams traded leads three times early in the first half, with Iowa State (6-1) taking an 18-16 lead on a three from Dodie Dunson with 10:27 left in the period. The Panthers (5-1) scored the next seven points to build a 23-18 advantage. After a layup from Johnson pulled ISU within three, Brown knocked down a three to put UNI on top, 26-20 with 5:22 on the clock. The Panthers held at least a four-point lead through the rest of the half, and McKowen hit a three with just three seconds remaining to send UNI into the break owning its largest lead of the half, 33-24.
The Cyclones scored the first five points of the second half, but layups from Grant Stout and Brown on consecutive trips built UNI’s lead back to eight, 37-29 with 17:05 to play.
UNI didn’t score over the next three minutes, and a three from Johnson capped an 8-0 run by ISU that tied the game at 37 with 14:16 remaining.
McKowen answered with a layup on UNI’s next trip to give the lead back to the Panthers. Less than a minute later, Kwadzo Ahelegbe grabbed a steal and found a fast-breaking Coleman, who finished with a one-handed dunk that put UNI up 41-37 with 13:07 to play.
Just seven seconds later, ISU cut the Panther lead to one on a three from Gray. On the Panthers’ next possession, Coleman put back his own miss to put UNI back up by three. The lead was short-lived, as Mike Taylor knocked down a three at the other end to tie the game at 43 with 12:16 to play.
McKowen returned the lead to the Panthers when he knocked down a three on the ensuing possession. ISU was able to come within one point of the Panthers on two occasions. Leading 48-47 with 8:26 to play, UNI went on a 12-2 run over the next 5:30 that gave the Panthers their first double-digit lead of the game, 60-49 with 2:57 on the clock.
Iowa State got threes from Clark and Hubalek to cut their deficit to five points, and a Panther turnover gave the Cyclones the ball with the chance to make it a one-possession game. Instead, Coleman came up with a steal that he took the length of the floor, and the dunk put UNI up 62-55 with 1:09 remaining.
The Cyclones elected to foul, and UNI was perfect from the line in the final minute to seal the win for the Panthers. UNI returns to action on Saturday when they play at Bucknell at noon.
- UNI Media Relations -