Red-Hot Northern Iowa Tops Loyola, 80-58
Feb. 12, 2014
Host Northern Iowa shot 59% from the floor and made 12 three-pointers en route to an 80-58 win over Loyola tonight at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Loyola dips to 9-16 (4-9 MVC) while the Panthers improve to 12-13 (6-7).
"We let our missed shots and their made shots deflate us," said head coach Porter Moser. "I was happy with out we came out and built up a lead but they were on fire, particuarly from three-point range, and I thought that we got deflated when we stopped making shots."
UNI's Matt Bohannon knocked down a three-pointer on its first possession and it would prove to be a harbinger of things to come. However, Loyola got off to a good start as well, and Devon Turk buried three straight three-pointers of his own in a 13-3 run that gave the Ramblers a 17-11 lead with just under eight minutes elapsed. Loyola still led 20-14 after Nate Buss and Christian Thomas exchanged triples but the home team kept pushing, pulling even at 20 on threes from Bohannan and Buss. The Panthers edged out to a 29-25 lead on a banked-in trey from the corner by Max Martino and they closed the half strong, taking a 35-27 lead into intermission. After its hot start, Loyola finished the half at a respectable 47% field goal percentage but UNI was even better, hitting eight from downtown (compared to four two-point baskets) and blazing the nets at a 63% clip overall.
Seth Tuttle scored six points in a 10-3 UNI run to open the second half as the Panthers opened up a double-digit lead and Loyola was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way. The Ramblers struggled to find an offensive rhythm and the home team led by as many as 24 down the stretch.
Loyola finished the game shooting 39.6% from the floor, compared to 59% for Northern Iowa, who finished the game 12-of-26 from behind the arc.
Turk was the only Rambler in double figures, finishing with 10 points. Thomas and Tony Nixon added nine each while Jeremy King pitched in with a season-high eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. Milton Doyle was held to just two points (1-7 FGs, 0-3 FTs) but handed out a game-high seven assists and grabbed four rebounds.
Loyola returns to action on Saturday night when it takes on Drake. Tip-off from the Knapp Center in Des Moines is scheduled for 7 p.m.