CEDAR FALLS (UNI) — The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team saw its 11-game home-court win streak snapped at 11 on Wednesday as the Indiana State Sycamores scored a 65-61 win in the McLeod Center.
Indiana State (9-4 overall, 2-0 MVC) used 18 points from Justin Gant and 16 more from Jake Odum to hold off the Panthers down the stretch. Odum also tallied a game-high five steals.
UNI (7-7 overall, 0-2 MVC) got a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Seth Tuttle. Senior forward Jake Koch dished out a game-high five assists and secured three steals. Senior guard Anthony James scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.
The Panthers led 11-6 behind a quick seven points from Tuttle with 16:06 left in the first half. Indiana State used an 11-0 run to take a 17-11 advantage that was capped by a three-pointer from Lucas Eitel with 12:19 left in the half.
UNI eventually pushed the lead back to four points at 29-25 following a conventional three-point play from sophomore point guard Deon Mitchell with 4:49 remaining on the first-half clock.
But the Sycamores closed the half on a 12-3 run to take a 37-32 lead into the locker room.
Indiana State’s Gant scored the first bucket of the second half to push the run to 14-3 and give the visitors a seven-point advantage, 39-32.
The Sycamores had a seven-point lead with 44 seconds left in the game after Manny Arop sank a jumper as the shot clock wound down.
The Panthers refused to yield and climbed to within 63-61 with 15.3 seconds left on a layup from senior guard Anthony James. Odum made only one of two free throws with 11.8 seconds left giving UNI a final chance to tie the game.
Head coach Ben Jacobson called timeout with 6.5 seconds left. However, senior guard Marc Sonnen stepped on the out-of-bounds line in the in-bounds pass with 5.8 and the Sycamores took over. Eitel drained the second of two free throws to push the margin to 65-61.