Panthers whip Southern Illinois - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers whip Southern Illinois

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Junior center Jordan Eglseder scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the University of Northern Iowa to an 81-55 win over Southern Illinois tonight at the McLeod Center.
 
The 7-1, 290-pound Eglseder hit on 8-of-12 shots from the field, and scored his 17 points in just 15 minutes of playing time.  Once again, UNI had a balanced scoring effort, as Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 13 points, Lucas O'Rear 11, and Travis Brown 10.  Adam Koch, Ali Farokhmanesh and Adam Rodenberg each chipped in with eight points.  A total of nine different Panthers scored in the game.  Southern Illinois was led by Tony Boyle who had 20 points.
 
UNI broke the game open early.  Leading 9-6, The Panthers scored seven straight points, including getting layups from Rodenberg and Eglseder.  That was the start of a 21-8 run by the Panthers, which ended with another basket from Eglseder.  That gave UNI a 30-14 lead with 6:46 left before halftime.
 
The Panthers kept their lead at double-figures the rest of the way to the locker room, holding a 38-23 lead at intermission.  Ahelegbe and Eglseder were the first-half catalysts for UNI, as the duo combined to score 22 points, hitting 7-of-10 shots from the field and all eight of their free throws.  UNI held SIU to less than 40 percent shooting (0-for-5 on three-pointers) and forced eight Saluki turnovers in the first half
 
The Panthers kept up the defensive and offensive pressure in the second half, not allowing Southern Illinois to get closer than 13 points at any point after intermission. The final score (81-55) marked UNI's largest lead of the game, and the 26-point win tied for the Panthers' largest margin of victory ever over SIU.
 
For the game, UNI shot 54 percent from the field, while holding Southern Illinois to 36 percent shooting.  UNI also won the rebounding battle, 36-30, and made 20-of-24 free throws to just 10-for-12 by Southern Illinois.
 
With the victory, UNI improved to 18-7 overall, 12-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Southern Illinois fell to 11-14 overall, 6-8 in the Valley.  The Panthers hit the road this Saturday (Feb. 14), when they travel to face Wichita State.  Tip-off from Charles Koch Arena is set for 7:05 pm.
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