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UNI falls at Minnesota in WNIT opening round

Karli Rucker

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota women’s basketball team made nine of its first 10 shots and built a 26-6 lead on its way to a 91-75 win over Northern Iowa on Friday in the first round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.

The Gophers built a 52-28 lead at the half, but the Panthers went on an 8-2 run to start the second half. UNI outscored Minnesota 21-18 in the third quarter and 26-21 in the fourth, but the hole was too deep to climb out of.

UNI cut the deficit to 77-69 after an 8-0 run with 4:44 remaining in the game, but the Gophers rattled off a 10-3 counter to extend the lead back to 15. The Panthers never cut the lead back to single digits.

Karli Rucker was 9-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from the 3-point line to score a team-high 26 points for UNI. Nicole Kroeger scored 16, including 10 in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

The Panthers close the season with a 20-13 record, falling to 0-11 all-time against Minnesota.

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