Warren becomes UNI’s winningest coach as Panthers edge Bears

CEDAR FALLS — The Northern Iowa women’s basketball team finished off the regular season with a 65-64 win against Missouri State on Saturday night.

The Panthers (22-7, 15-3) finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference, finishing in the top half of the conference for the eighth-straight year. The Panthers are the only team in the conference to accomplish this feat.

Northern Iowa head coach Tanya Warren became the school’s all-time wins leader with 184 career victories with the win. She passed former coach Tony DiCecco who was at Northern Iowa from 1995-2006.

The Panthers were led by Ellie Herzberg’s 23 points, while Madison Weekly chipped in 13 with a team-best three assists. The Panthers were 10-for-15 from the free-throw line, and helped the Panthers shoot 44.6 percent from the floor Saturday night.

Missouri State (16-13, 12-6) was led by Liza Fruendt’s 17 points and nine rebounds. Lexi Hughes had 14, Danielle Gitzen posted 11 and Aubrey Buckley had 10 for the Bears.

Missouri State did a better job on the boards, grabbing a 35-23 advantage. But the Panthers got the lead from points off turnovers, winning that category 28-11.

It wasn’t pretty, with a 3-pointer falling for the Bears with 0.3 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one point. But a long inbounds pass sealed the deal and secured the No. 2 seed in next week’s MVC Hoops in the Heartland Tournament.

Weekly’s 13 points moves her to 1,705 all-time, and into third in school history in schoring. She’s just the fourth player ever to break the 1,700-point mark.

UNI 65, Missouri St. 64

At Cedar Falls

MISSOURI ST. (16-13, 12-6) — Hughes 5-6 2-2 14, Fruendt 5-13 5-6 17, Holt 0-2 0-2 0, Buckley 3-6 2-2 10, Willard 3-6 0-0 7, Gitzen 5-8 1-2 11, Polowy 0-1 0-0 0, Ealy 1-1 0-0 3, Swartz 0-0 0-0 0, Osemenam 1-3 0-0 2. TOTALS 23-46 10-14 64.

N. IOWA (22-7, 15-3) — Weekly 4-13 4-4 13, Davison 0-3 0-0 0, Schonhardt 1-4 2-4 4, Morgan 5-10 0-0 11, Maahs 4-5 2-4 10, Herzberg 9-15 2-2 23, Kirkpatrick 1-1 0-1 2, Hillyard 1-3 0-0 2, Hagen 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-56 10-15 65.

Missouri St. 15 11 15 23 — 64

N. Iowa 8 18 17 22 — 65

3-Point Goals–Missouri St. 8-16 (Hughes 2-3, Buckley 2-3, Fruendt 2-7, Willard 1-1, Ealy 1-1, Holt 0-1), N. Iowa 5-23 (Herzberg 3-7, Morgan 1-4, Weekly 1-5, Hagen 0-1, Davison 0-2, Schonhardt 0-2, Hillyard 0-2). Rebounds–Missouri St. 35 (Fruendt 9), N. Iowa 23 (Schonhardt 5). Assists–Missouri St. 8 (Buckley 2), N. Iowa 10 (Weekly 3). Total Fouls–Missouri St. 22, N. Iowa 16. Fouled Out–None. A–1,301.