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MVC-leading Missouri St. outlasts Panthers, 63-58

CEDAR FALLS — The Northern Iowa women’s basketball team led by as many as seven points in the first half but couldn’t close out league-leading Missouri State as the Bears overtook the Panthers for a 63-58 victory in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference showdown inside the McLeod Center.

Missouri State (13-7, 9-0) outscored UNI 34-25 in the second half to overcome a four-point deficit at the intermission and remain unbeaten in the Valley.

Northern Iowa (13-8, 5-3) got to the free-throw line just once in the game but stayed with the Bears through the final horn, getting within three, 59-56, with 2:18 remaining. Missouri State, which went 23-for-29 at the line, sealed the game from the charity stripe.

Brice Calip scored a game-high 12 points to lead the Bears, while Danielle Gitzen, Alexa Willard and Sydney Wilson added 10 points apiece.

Karli Rucker tallied 11 points to pace the Panthers, who led 33-29 at the half.

Northern Iowa heads to Chicago on Friday night to face Loyola in a 7 p.m. game.

Missouri St. 63, UNI 58

At Cedar Falls

MISSOURI ST. (13-7, 9-0) — Gitzen 4-10 2-3 10, Hipp 2-7 0-0 4, Calip 2-8 8-11 12, Willard 4-12 2-2 10, Franklin 1-4 2-2 4, Ruffridge 0-1 0-0 0, Wilson 4-6 2-2 10, Bhinhar 0-3 2-4 2, Lewis 1-3 0-0 2, Manning 1-2 5-5 7, Gartner 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS 20-58 23-29 63.

N. IOWA (13-8, 5-3) — Rucker 5-10 0-0 11, Howell 3-7 0-0 7, Gunnels 4-6 0-0 9, Morgan 0-4 0-0 0, Hagen 3-6 0-0 6, Kroeger 2-5 0-0 5, Iverson 0-0 0-0 0, Wolf 3-7 0-0 7, Hillyard 3-8 0-0 8, Gerrits 2-6 1-1 5. TOTALS 25-59 1-1 58.

MISSOURI ST. 16 13 19 15 — 63

N. IOWA 19 14 14 11 — 58

3-Point Goals–Missouri St. 0-10 (Hipp 0-1, Calip 0-1, Willard 0-1, Wilson 0-1, Bhinhar 0-1, Manning 0-1, Gitzen 0-2, Lewis 0-2), UNI 7-29 (Hillyard 2-4, Gunnels 1-1, Kroeger 1-3, Rucker 1-5, Howell 1-5, Wolf 1-5, Morgan 0-3, Gerrits 0-3). Rebounds–Missouri St. 37 (Gitzen, Franklin 5), UNI 35 (Wolf 7). Assists–Missouri St. 3 (three with 1), UNI 11 (Rucker 6). Total Fouls–Missouri St. 13, UNI 21. Fouled Out–none. A–1,485.

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