UNI Panthers advance to MVC championship game - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI Panthers advance to MVC championship game

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KWWL) -- The University of Northern Iowa Men's basketball team is one win away from an automatic bid to the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament.  Click here for game stats.

Adam Koch had 22 points and nine rebounds, helping top seed Northern Iowa pull away in the second half to beat Bradley 76-62 Saturday in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals on Saturday.

Kwadzo Ahelegbe added 21 points and four assists for the Panthers (22-10), who shot 50 percent and advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2004. Northern Iowa shared its first conference title with Creighton, which played Illinois State in the second semifinal.

Theron Wilson scored all but two of his 16 points in the second half and Sam Maniscalco added 14 points for Bradley (18-14), the fifth seed. Bradley was 0-3 against Northern Iowa this season, the first two losses by a combined eight points, and the third meeting was tied at 32 at halftime.

Ahelegbe scored the last four points in a 10-0 run that put Northern Iowa ahead 55-44 with 8:18 to play. Bradley got no closer than a seven-point deficit the rest of the way while going 1-for-9 from 3-point range after the break.

UNI will play the winner of the Creighton-Illinois State game.  Sunday's MVC game is at 1:10pm in St. Louis.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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