Purdue eliminates UNI, 61-56, in NCAA first round - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Purdue eliminates UNI, 61-56, in NCAA first round

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KWWL) -- Purdue beat UNI, 61-56, to eliminate the Panthers in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.  The Big Ten Tournament Champion Boilermakers took advantage of early Panther turnovers to go on a 14-0 run and a 12-point lead.

The scrappy Northern Iowa Panthers battled back from a 14-point deficit to get within two, 56-54, late in the game, but could get no closer.

UNI's Kerwin Dunham hit a 3-pointer with 17-seconds to play to pull UNI with two at 56-54, but Kwadzo Ahelegbe missed a layup with just 7-seconds left and the Panthers were forced to foul. Purdue's Lewis Jackson made one of his two free throws to clinch it for the Boilermakers. 61-56.

Purdue, the 5-seed, took advantage of early Panther turnovers, and appeared to be in control of the West Regional opener. But, the panthers, the 12-seed, battled back time and time again to stay within reach of the Big 10 tournament Champions.

E'twaun Moore led Purdue with 17 points. Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 11 for UNI.

The victory sends Purdue into the round of 32 Sunday, while the defeat ends the season for the Missouri Valley Conference and Tournament Champions from Northern Iowa. The future is bright for Coach Ben Jacobson's Panthers. UNI returns everyone but Travis Brown next season.   

 

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