Panthers upset Redbirds in Normal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers upset Redbirds in Normal

NORMAL, Ill. (KWWL) -- The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to claim a 76-73 overtime win at league-leading Illinois State on Sunday afternoon.

K.K. Armstrong hit a three with 1:20 left in overtime to give the Panthers a 72-71 advantage, and Kim Wypiszynski and Nicole Clausen each hit a pair of free throws to seal the win for UNI.

Wypiszynski led UNI with 20 points, and Armstrong finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Clausen finished with 14 points, and Lizzie Boeck added 11.

Kristi Cirone led ISU with 28 points, becoming ISU's all-time leading scorer in the process. Maggie Krick added 17 points, and Ashleen Bracey finished with 14.

The Panthers made their first three three-point attempts to take an early 9-8 lead. Bracey hit a long jumper to put ISU in front, 10-9, but Lizzie Boeck scored in transition to give the lead right back to the Panthers. Erin Brocka hit a jumper in the lane to give the Panthers a 13-10 advantage with 13:03 left in the first half.

At 11:07, K.K. Armstrong knocked down a three from the top of the key to double the Panthers' advantage to 16-10.

Shala Jackson ended UNI's run with a pair of free throws at 10:51, but Kim Wypiszynski scored as she was fouled on the Panthers' ensuing possession. Her free throw gave UNI a 19-12 lead. Boeck knocked down a jumper as the shot clock expired, and Brocka scored on a baseline jumper to extend UNI's lead to 23-12 with 8:34 on the clock.

Illinois State got back-to-back baskets from Kristi Cirone and Nicolle Lewis to pull ISU within seven, 23-16.

Armstrong and Cirone traded free throws to keep the difference at seven, but Lewis cut the ISU deficit to five with a basket at 6:30, making the score 25-20.

Wypiszynski ended a four-minute scoring drought for UNI with a long jumper, giving UNI a 27-20 lead with 3:40 remaining.

ISU responded with a 9-0 run, taking the lead on a pair of free throws from Bracey with 1:12 on the clock.

Clausen hit a three from the left baseline to return the lead to the Panthers, 30-29, but ISU scored the final four points of the half to take a 33-30 lead into the break.

Illinois State scored the first seven points of the second half, building a 40-30 advantage with 18:08 to play. UNI got a pair of free throws from Wypiszynski and Uhlenhopp to cut the ISU lead to six, 40-34, but a three from Maggie Krick and a basket by Ashley Sandstead extended the Redbird lead to 45-34.

Bracey scored on a tip-in to give ISU its largest lead of the game, 47-35 with 16:16 on the clock. Wypiszynski scored seven straight points for the Panthers, helping to chip away at the ISU lead. Indy Uhlenhopp knocked down a three at 12:05 that brought the score to 49-44.

The Redbirds stretched their lead back to double digits, 56-46, over the next two minutes. Armstrong and Boeck hit threes on consecutive possessions to pull UNI within four, 56-52. Alexa Mennen hit a turnaround jumper in the lane at 8:10 to make it a one-possession game, 56-54. Cirone scored on a backdoor cut, to return ISU's lead to four, 58-54. Wypiszynski made one of two free throws to cut the UNI deficit to 58-55 with 6:46 remaining.

Cirone scored on the other end to extend ISU's lead to 60-55, but a free throw from Wypiszynski made it a four-point contest, 60-56 with 5:56 to play.

UNI came up with a defensive stop, and Clausen made her fourth three of the game to pull the Panthers within one, 60-59 with 5:08 on the clock.

Wypiszynski gave UNI its first lead of the second half, 61-60, with a jumper from just behind the free throw line with 2:25 on the clock. Cirone answered with a three from the top of the key that returned the lead to the Redbirds, 63-61 with 2:01 to play.

Armstrong made a pair of free throws to tie the game, but Jackson scored on the block with 1:05 left to give ISU a 65-63 lead.

Armstrong drove into the lane, and her layup attempt did everything but go down. She was fouled in the process, however, and the freshman connected on both attempts to tie the game, 65-65 with 55 seconds left.

Cirone attempted a floater in the lane, but it would not fall. Erin Brocka grabbed the rebound to give the Panthers the ball with the shot clock turned off.

The Panthers held for the last shot, but Armstrong's attempt would not fall, sending the game into overtime with the teams tied at 65-65.

Bracey and Boeck traded baskets to start off overtime. Uhlenhopp knocked down a long jumper at 3:40 to give UNI a 69-67 lead, but Krick answered with a baseline jumper to tie the game with 3:20 left.

Cirone scored at 2:25 to give the Redbirds a two-point lead. Both teams came up empty-handed on their next possessions, and Armstrong drained a three as the shot clock was winding down to put UNI in front, 72-71 with 1:15 on the clock.

Cirone scored on a baseline runner to return the lead to the Redbirds, 73-72 with 54 seconds left.

Wypiszynski was fouled as she grabbed an offensive rebound. She made both free throws to give UNI a 74-73 edge. Cirone's jump shot hit off the side of the rim, and Brocka grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 12 seconds left.

She missed both attempts, but Boeck grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked the ball back out to Clausen, who was fouled. The junior made both attempts, giving UNI a 76-73 cushion with nine seconds on the clock. Krick's final three-point attempt did not fall, securing the win for UNI.

The Panthers shot 23-of-54 (42.6 percent) from the floor, including 0-of-25 (40 percent) from three-point range. UNI finished 20-of-28 (71.4 percent) from the free-throw line.

Illinois State shot 28-of-66 (42.4 percent) from the floor, including 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) from long range. The Redbirds made 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe.

It was the third straight game that required overtime for the Panthers. UNI came up on the short end in overtime contests against Creighton on Feb. 21 and at Indiana State on Feb. 27. It is UNI's second overtime win of the season, as the Panthers took home an overtime win from Evansville on Feb. 5.

The Panthers return to action on Thursday when they host Wichita State at 7:05 p.m.

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