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Panthers bounce No. 24 Buffaloes

UNI knocks off Colorado 79-76

AP PHOTO - Northern Iowa center Justin Dahl, left, tries to dunk the ball as Colorado guard Eli Parquet defends in the first half of a college basketball game Tuesday in Boulder, Colo. The visiting Panthers knocked off the No. 24 Buffaloes, 79-76.

BOULDER, Colo. — Spencer Haldeman stole a pass and raced down the floor for a tiebreaking layup with 49 seconds remaining and Northern Iowa hung on to beat No. 24 Colorado 79-76 Tuesday night.

Northern Iowa defeated a ranked team for the first time since topping No. 25 Wichita State 53-50 on Feb. 13, 2016. The Panthers had lost their previous seven encounters against ranked opponents.

AJ Green and Trae Berhow had 20 points apiece to lead Northern Iowa (9-1), which has won three straight since losing to West Virginia 60-55.

Berhow and Green each hit five 3-pointers. Green’s last 3 with 1:10 left to play evened the score at 76-all after Colorado (7-2) had taken a 76-73 lead on a layup by McKinley Wright IV.

Haldeman then stepped in front of Wright’s pass and broke away for the go-ahead basket. After Green added a free throw, Colorado’s Shane Gatling and Lucas Siewert both missed tying 3-point tries in the final seconds.

Siewert scored a career-high 21 points to lead Colorado (7-2), which lost a second straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins. Wright finished with 16 points.

Leading by a point at the break, the Panthers went on an 11-0 run to start the second half. The Buffaloes got back in the game with a 9-0 burst.

Evan Battey converted a three-point play to put the Buffaloes up 62-60 with 6:41 remaining, but Green and Berhow connected on 3-pointers.

The Panthers led by five points after a layup by Justin Dahl with 3:10 remaining but Wright hit a 3-pointer and Battey muscled in a layup, was fouled and made the free throw as part of 8-0 run that put the Buffaloes in front 76-73 with 1:39 left.

The Buffaloes went without a field goal in the last 5:44 of the first half and Wright hit a jumper that gave Colorado a 30-23 lead. Earlier in the period, Siewert hit 15 consecutive points for the Buffaloes to help Colorado take an early lead.

BIG PICTURE

Northern Iowa: The Panthers, prolific 3-point shooters, made better than half of their shots from beyond the arc (14 of 26) and that was enough to fend off a Colorado team that had leaned on its defense to get off to a solid start.

Colorado: The Buffaloes hallmark early this season has been defense but they let down on the perimeter, leaving themselves vulnerable to Northern Iowa’s prolific 3-point shooters.

UP NEXT

Northern Iowa: Continues road trip at Grand Canyon on Thursday night.

Colorado: Takes on rival Colorado State in Fort Collins on Friday night.

UNI 79, No. 24 COLORADO 76

At Boulder, Colo.

N. IOWA (9-1) — Phyfe 0-5 2-2 2, Brown 3-8 2-2 10, Green 6-16 3-5 20, Haldeman 3-6 0-0 8, Berhow 6-8 3-3 20, Betz 0-0 0-0 0, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Dahl 7-7 0-1 14, Kimmons 1-3 0-0 2, Pickford 1-5 1-1 3. TOTALS 27-58 11-14 79.

COLORADO (7-2) — Battey 3-7 3-4 9, Wright 5-10 4-4 16, Parquet 1-4 1-2 4, Schwartz 1-5 0-0 3, Bey 4-4 6-6 14, Siewert 7-11 2-2 21, Walton 0-1 0-0 0, Gatling 2-5 0-0 5, Kountz 2-4 0-0 4, Daniels 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-53 16-18 76.

Halftime–UNI 33-32. 3-Point Goals–UNI 14-26 (Berhow 5-6, Green 5-10, Brown 2-4, Haldeman 2-5, Pickford 0-1), Colorado 10-20 (Siewert 5-7, Wright 2-3, Schwartz 1-2, Parquet 1-2, Gatling 1-3, Battey 0-1, Daniels 0-2). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–UNI 29 (Phyfe 7), Colorado 22 (Bey 6). Assists–UNI 19 (Brown 5), Colorado 13 (Wright 6). Total Fouls–UNI 19, Colorado 14. Technicals–Berhow. A–6,570 (11,064).