UNI Wins 5th In A Row Over Evansville 58-47 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Wins 5th In A Row Over Evansville 58-47

The University of Northern Iowa used a stifling defensive effort to defeat Evansville, 58-47, tonight at Roberts Stadium.  The Panthers held the Purple Aces to a season-low 48 points, and just 33 percent field goal shooting.
 
UNI also held the Missouri Valley Conference's leading scorer, Evansville forward Shy Ely, to just seven points.  Ely, who entered the game averaging 17.5 points per contest, made just 2-of-15 shots from the field on the night.
 
Once again, the Panthers had a balanced scoring effort.  Nine of the 10 Panthers that played scored, led by Ali Farokhmanesh with 11 points and Kwadzo Ahelegbe with 10.  Adam Koch and Lucas O'Rear each added eight, while tying for team-high rebounding honors with six.
 
The Panthers got off to a 7-2 start to the game, as Farokhmanesh hit a three to open the scoring, and Ahelegbe and Koch each added layups.  Evansville scored five straight to get even at seven, and the score was tied at nine when UNI pulled ahead for good.
 
Farokhmanesh drained a 25-footer from the right wing to five UNI a 12-9 lead, and the Panthers would not trail again.  That deep trey started a 13-2 run by the Panthers, with senior guard Travis Brown delivering two three-pointers of his own during that stretch.
 
With UNI in front, 22-11, Evansville scored seven in a row to get within 22-18 with 2:52 left in the first half.  But the Panthers answered, ending the half on a 6-2 run, with Ahelegbe draining a pull-up 15 foot jumper just before the first-half horn to give UNI a 28-20 lead at the break.
 
Junior center Jordan Eglseder, limited to just three minutes of playing time in the first half after picking up two early fouls, got the Panthers going to start the second half.  He had a tip-in and a short jumper in the opening moments, as UNI scored the first six points out of the locker room.
 
That early spurt keyed what turned out to be a 17-5 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half, as UNI extended to a 45-25 lead halfway through period number two.  Evansville missed 10 of its first 12 shots to start the second half.  The Purple Aces never got the margin under double-digits the rest of the way, as UNI cruised to the victory.
 
With its fifth straight win, UNI improved to 11-6 overall, 5-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference and remaining in a tie for first place in the league, while Evansville fell to 11-5, 3-3 in the MVC.  The Panthers' next game is this Saturday (Jan. 17), when they travel to face intrastate rival Drake.  Tipoff from the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa, is set for 11:00 am, with the game being televised live by ESPN2.
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