Feb. 14, 2014
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Northern Iowa parlayed a quick start into a 22-point halftime lead Friday evening at the McLeod Center on the way to a 79-60 victory over the Missouri State Lady Bears in a battle for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.
UNI’s eight first-half 3-pointers, coupled with an 8-for-35 shooting performance by Missouri State, made for a 45-23 score at the break as the Panthers improved to 12-11 overall and 8-4 in league play and the Lady Bears dropped to 12-11 and 7-5 in MVC contests.
UNI hit its first four shots and led 11-1 exactly three minutes into the game, and a pair of 3-pointers from freshman Lexi Hughes pulled Missouri State within single digits at 18-9 and 22-14 before the Lady Bears went cold.
After Hughes’ second trey with 11:09 to play, the Lady Bears missed their next 15 shots and the Panthers capitalized with a 14-0 run to lead 36-14 before Desiree Phillips scored with 4:18 to play to break a 6:51 scoreless drought.
Missouri State came out of the locker room and made eight of its first nine shots in the second period, including three straight from Katie Palmer to pull the Lady Bears to 56-41 with 15:20 remaining.
UNI’s 10th triple of the game pushed the lead back above 20 at 63-42 with 12:41 remaining before Tyonna Snow connected on four layups in 95 seconds to make it 63-50 with 10:31 to play.
The Panthers countered with a 10-1 run over the next four minutes to lead 73-51, and led by at least 20 until NiJay Gaines hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left for the final margin.
Tyonna Snow led MSU with 17 points and added four steals, while Palmer had nine points and Hughes scored eight. The Lady Bears won the rebounding battle 47-43 with Gaines pulling down a career-high nine boards, including seven on the offensive glass.
UNI shot 46.8 percent for the game and 10-for-25 from the 3-point arc, while the Lady Bears shot 31.1 percent.
Missouri State visits Drake (11-12, 5-7) at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Bulldogs lost 70-61 to Wichita State on Friday. That game will be televised on the MSU TV Network, including the Ozarks CW in Springfield.