UNI Women Outlast Southern Illinois 71-62 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Women Outlast Southern Illinois 71-62

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(Carbondale, Il)(KWWL) The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team outscored Southern Illinois 15-6 in the final six minutes to claim a 71-62 win over the Salukis in Missouri Valley Conference action Friday night at SIU Arena.

            With the score tied 56-56 with 6:02 remaining, the Panthers went on a 9-2 run over the next five minutes to build a 65-58 lead and secure the victory.

            Jacqui Kalin led UNI (9-12, 5-5 MVC) with 18 points, Lizzie Boeck added 11 and Kim Wypiszysnki finished with 10. Erin Brocka led the Panthers with 12 rebounds and four steals.

            Stephany Neptune led the Salukis (4-16, 3-7 MVC) with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Katerina Garcia finished with 17 points for SIU.

            The Panthers connected on their first three shots to build an early 8-0 lead. SIU cut that in half twice, 12-8 and 15-11. Clausen drained a three, and after the SIU bench was whistled for a technical foul, Kalin hit a pair of free throws to give UNI a 20-11 advantage with 8:43 left in the half.

            Neptune and Wypiszynski traded baskets, and Southern Illinois rattled off nine straight points to tie the game, 22-22 at 5:59.

            Katelin Oney corralled a long defensive rebound, and she took it the length of the floor for a layup. She was fouled in the process, and the free throw gave UNI a 25-22 advantage with 5:18 on the clock.

            That was the beginning of a 9-0 run by the Panthers that put UNI in front 31-22 with a minute remaining. Christine Presswood scored on a fast break with six seconds on the clock to cut the UNI lead to seven, but Oney drained a three from the left wing at the buzzer to send the Panthers to the locker room leading 34-24.

            Southern Illinois scored the first 10 points of the second period to tie the game, 34-34 with 16:40 left to play.

            Clausen ended the SIU run and put the Panthers back in front with her second three of the game, making the score 37-34. Lizzie Boeck knocked down a mid-range jumper, and K.K. Armstrong connected on a pair of free throws to give UNI a 41-34 lead.

            SIU scored five straight points to pull back within a pair, but a putback from Brocka and a free throw from Boeck put the Panthers back in the lead by five, 44-39 with 13:44 to play.

            The Salukis answered with a field goal and a free throw to narrow the gap back to two, and Garcia hit a three with 11:48 to play to give SIU its first lead of the game, 45-44.

            Armstrong was sent to the free throw line on the ensuing possession, and she made the first attempt. The Panthers collected the offensive board, and Armstrong was sent to the line again. She made both tries, giving the Panthers a two-point edge, 47-45 with 11:12 to play.

            Neptune answered with a pair of free throws to tie the game, 47-47, but Danielle Wubbens hit a short jumper and Boeck hit a free throw to give UNI a three-point advantage with 8:48 to play.

            Katrina Swingler and Boeck traded baskets to keep the difference at three. Swingler scored on the block, and Neptune scored as she was fouled on the next trip to give SIU a 54-52 lead at 6:59.

            Wypiszynski hit a pair of free throws to tie the game, and Kalin was fouled at the defensive end with the Panthers in the double bonus. She made both free throws, giving UNI a 56-54 lead. It was short-lived, however, as Teri Oliver made a layup to tie the game for the sixth time at 6:02.

            Wypiszynski put UNI back in front, 58-56, with a putback at 4:50. Garcia made the second of two free throws to cut the UNI lead in half, but Oney sank a pair from the stripe to give UNI a 60-57 edge.

            Garcia cut the UNI lead to two with a free throw at 3:41. The Panthers collected three offensive rebounds on their next trip down the floor, and they capitalized on a short jumper from Kalin that made it a two-possession game, 62-58, with 2:25 left.

            Boeck sank a free throw at 1:25 to give UNI a five-point lead, and the Panthers came up with a steal on the defensive end. The Salukis elected to send Armstrong to the line, and the sophomore made both tries to give UNI a 65-58 lead with 1:06 to play.

            UNI finished 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the win.

            The Panthers shot 19-of-57 (33.3 percent) from the floor, including 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from behind the arc. UNI shot 28-of-36 (77.8 percent) from the free-throw line.

            The Salukis shot 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) from the floor, including 2-of-8 (25 percent) from three-point range. SIU was 18-of-30 (60 percent) from the free-throw line.

            UNI returns to action on Sunday when it plays at Evansville at 2 p.m.

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