UNI falters on road at Southern Illinois

Chicago News USA

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Northern Iowa’s season was going smoothly heading into a Wednesday night matchup against Southern Illinois. The Panthers were16-2 on the season and the frontrunners in the Missouri Valley Conference.

But it just takes a one-off bad night to take a loss — and the Panthers were caught napping against the Salukis in a 68-66 loss.

Neither team was offensively proficient in the first half, with the score 28-26 in favor of the Salukis at the break.

In the second half, turnovers began to catch up to the Panthers. UNI had 16 to Southern Illinois’ six, and those turnovers helped contribute to the Salukis taking a 55-39 lead midway through the second half.

The stats suggested that UNI would have been the team in control — the Panthers shot 48.2 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from three, had a 41-26 rebounding advantage and more second-chance points.

But turnovers and a lack of free throws — just four attempts all game — set the Salukis in the driver’s seat. A furious late-game run put UNI back in it late, but the Panthers weren’t able to get across the line against a now-10-10 Southern Illinois team.

Trae Berhow led the Panthers with 22 points, while AJ Green and Austin Phyfe had 16 points apiece. Phyfe had 10 rebounds as well.

The loss knocks the Panthers off of the top spot in the conference, which they had shared with Loyola-Chicago. UNI hosts the 14-6 Ramblers Sunday at 3 p.m. with television coverage from ESPNU.

Southern Illinois 68, UNI 66

At Carbondale, Ill.

N. IOWA (16-3) — Berhow 8-11 1-2 22, I.Brown 2-11 0-0 4, Green 6-15 1-2 16, Haldeman 1-3 0-0 3, Phyfe 8-10 0-0 16, McDonnell 0-2 0-0 0, Pickford 1-2 0-0 2, Kimmons 1-2 0-0 3, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Dahl 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27-56 2-4 66.

S. ILLINOIS (10-10) — Domask 5-11 0-0 11, Jones 7-13 2-9 20, T.Brown 3-6 2-2 11, McGill 1-6 4-6 7, Benson 5-7 3-4 13, Davis 1-4 1-2 3, Gooch 1-4 0-0 3, Francois 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS 23-53 12-23 68.

Halftime–S. Illinois 28-26. 3-Point Goals–N. Iowa 10-23 (Berhow 5-7, Green 3-7, Haldeman 1-2, Kimmons 1-2, McDonnell 0-1, Pickford 0-1, I.Brown 0-3), S. Illinois 10-26 (Jones 4-7, T.Brown 3-6, Domask 1-1, Gooch 1-4, McGill 1-4, Benson 0-1, Davis 0-1, Francois 0-2). Rebounds–N. Iowa 38 (Phyfe 10), S. Illinois 25 (Domask 9). Assists–N. Iowa 13 (Green 5), S. Illinois 14 (Domask 5). Total Fouls–N. Iowa 16, S. Illinois 10. A–4,319 (8,339).

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