UNI men sweep Bulldogs, win 71-63

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

DES MOINES — Scoring droughts in the second half ultimately doomed the Bulldogs as the Northern Iowa men’s basketball team took Saturday’s Missouri Valley Conference game 71-63 at the Knapp Center. UNI extends its winning streak to five games.

Klint Carlson led UNI (10-11, 5-5 MVC) with 17 pounds, while bringing down six rebounds. Jeremy Morgan and Bennett Koch each scored 16 points. Jordan Ashton scored six points, going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 3 minutes, 42 seconds of the game, and had team-highs of seven boards and five assists. Drake (7-15, 5-5 MVC) was led by Ore Arogundade with 15, including three 3-pointers.

After Casey Schlatter gave the Bulldogs a 37-36 lead with 13:33 to play in the second half, the Panthers went on an 8-0 run for a 44-37 lead that saw no scoring from Drake in a span of 4:53. Reed Timmer snapped the drought with a pair of free throws. Arogundade scored a trey to give Drake its first field goal in 5:42, pulling the Bulldogs within 46-42.

UNI pushed its lead out to nine before Drake chipped its way back to within four, but the Panthers built as big of a lead as 11 late in the half when the Bulldogs went another 2:27 without scoring. From there, UNI started bleeding the clock.

The Panthers, whose winning streak started when they topped the Bulldogs 79-60 in their first meeting on Jan. 15 in Cedar Falls, let their lead slip away early in the second half. A two-hand dunk by Nick McGlynn early in the second trimmed the UNI lead to 27-24. The Panthers were later called for goaltending, again bringing Drake within three. De’Antae McMurray’s layup then brought the Bulldogs within one, and McMurray tied it 31-all with a 3-pointer. C.J. Rivers then gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 33-31 on a layup on the assist from Jacob Enevold with the pass with his back to the hoop from the free-throw line.

A personal foul on McMurray and a technical foul on Rivers gave UNI four free throw attempts, which Morgan made three, starting an exchange of leads between the two teams before the Drake scoring skid.

UNI opened the game on a 6-0 run in the first 2:54. After Drake got on the scoreboard, the Panthers came back with an 8-0 run to jump out to a 14-2 lead with 13:24 left in the first half. A falling away jumper by Billy Wampler halted the run. Later a steal by Rivers turned into a 3-on-2 offensive opportunity for the Bulldogs, finished off by a Casey Schlatter layup cutting the lead to 14-8.

After an exchange of 3-pointers, Carlson gave UNI an eight-point edge with a layup. Drake went on a short 5-0 run, getting layups from Schlatter and Timmer, with Timmer completing the and-one after being fouled pulling the Bulldogs within 19-16.

Two and-one opportunities for UNI converted by Carlson and Bennett Koch stretched the lead back out to 25-16 lead for the Panthers. UNI went scoreless for the remaining 6:58 of the first half. Drake finished the first half on a 6-0 run, cutting Panther halftime lead to 25-22.