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Panther women open season with win

CEDAR FALLS — Five players scored in double figures and the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team buried North Dakota State in a 95-63 opener for both teams on Wednesday night inside the McLeod Center.

Karli Rucker scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Panthers, shooting 6-for-7 from the field with three 3-pointers to go with six assists. Kam Finley contributed 13 points and four assists off the bench as UNI (1-0) got out to a 24-8 lead through the first quarter.

Starters Megan Maahs and Nicole Kroeger added 11 and 10 points, respectively, and Kristina Cavey chipped in with 10 points in a reserve role.

UNI shot 10-for-17 from 3-point range, 27-for-32 at the free-throw line and forced the Bison into 17 turnovers.

Michelle Gaislerova led North Dakota State (0-1) with 15 points.

The Panthers return to action Saturday with their first road game of the season, visiting Wichita State for a 5 p.m. contest that will serve as the Shockers’ opener.