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Fast start lifts UNI women over Bradley

CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball team got off to a hot start against Bradley on Thursday night and held on for a 61-57 lead.

The Panthers (18-10, 11-5) were up 22-11 against the Braves (20-6, 10-6) after the first quarter. Bradley won each of the next three quarters but not by enough to overcome the 11-point hole UNI put them in.

Karli Rucker had a game-high 15 points to pace the Panthers, while Mikaela Morgan had 12 and Taylor Hagen finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Gabi Haack led the Braves with 15 points, and she was followed by Tatum Koenig with 11 and Chelsea Brackman and Vanessa Markert with 10 points each.

UNI wraps up the regular season on Saturday with a home game against Illinois State, starting at 2 p.m.

UNI 61, Bradley 57

At Cedar Falls

BRADLEY (20-6, 10-6) — Haack 5-13 3-4 15, Brackman 5-11 0-0 10, Koenig 3-3 2-2 11, Kent 0-5 0-0 0, Marsh 0-3 0-0 0, Petree 0-5 2-2 2, Spelhaug 1-2 2-2 5, Markert 3-5 4-5 10, White 2-3 0-0 4. TOTALS 19-50 13-15 57.

UNI (18-10, 11-5) — Rucker 5-14 2-2 15, Howell 0-2 0-0 0, Gunnels 2-4 2-4 8, Morgan 4-10 4-4 12, Hagen 5-12 1-2 11, Kroeger 2-7 0-0 5, Iverson 0-1 0-0 0, Simon-Ressler 2-5 0-0 4, Wolf 2-3 0-0 6, Hillyard 0-1 0-0 0, Gerrits 0-4 0-0 0. TOTALS 22-63 9-12 61.

Bradley 11 16 11 19 — 57

UNI 22 12 10 17 — 61

3-Point Goals–Bradley 6-16 (Koenig 3-3, Haack 2-6, Spelhaug 1-1, Marsh 0-1, Petree 0-2, Kent 0-3), UNI 8-29 (Rucker 3-6, Wolf 2-2, Gunnels 2-4, Kroeger 1-5, Hillyard 0-1, Howell 0-2, Simon-Ressler 0-2, Gerrits 0-3, Morgan 0-4). Rebounds–Bradley 38 (Brackman 10), UNI 39 (Hagen 10). Assists–Bradley 7 (Haack 4), UNI 9 (Rucker 4). Total Fouls–Bradley 19, UNI 18. Fouled Out–Brackman.