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Arch Sadness: UNI Denied MVC Tourney Three-Peat

File Photo By: Elwin Huffman - Townsquare Media
Jeremy Morgan (No. 20) / File Photo By: Elwin Huffman – Townsquare Media

It’s one and done for the UNI men’s basketball team at Arch Madness in St. Louis. The Panthers saw their chance at a third-straight Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship go down in a 70-64 setback against the Missouri State Bears at Scottrade Center Friday night (March 3, 2017).

The No. 3-seeded Panthers (14-16 overall) did not have an answer for the No. 6-seeded Bears (17-15 overall) on the boards. Missouri State enjoyed a 50-25 rebounding advantage over UNI in the MVC quarterfinal matchup.

UNI senior guard Jeremy Morgan tallied a team-best 18 points while adding three steals and two blocks. Junior forward Bennett Koch scored 15 points and tallied five rebounds to go with two steals. Junior forward Klint Carlson tallied 10 points and redshirt freshman guard Spencer Haldeman chipped in with 11 points off the bench.

Missouri State’s Alize Johnson posted a game-high 20 points and 17 rebounds.

The Panthers trailed by seven points early at 9-2 but fought back to tie the game at 20-20 on a three-pointer by junior guard Hunter Rhodes. Missouri State held a 31-29 lead at the break.

UNI took its first lead of the second half at 37-36 on a conventional three-point play from Koch with 15:01 left in the game. UNI’s final lead of the contest came at 45-43 with 10:18 remaining.

The Bears led 59-52 with 3:56 left when the Panthers made a final charge. UNI scored five straight points to trim the lead to 59-57 after a three-point play from Carlson with 2:29 left. Senior guard Jordan Ashton had a three-point shot on the left wing to give the Panthers the lead with 1:48 left but it did not find the bottom of the net and the Bears grabbed the rebound. Missouri State made its final 11 free throws in the final 1:29 to score the 70-64 victory.

NOTES: Jeremy Morgan tallied 179 career steals and ended up one short of the school record set by Brent Carmichael with 180 … Morgan’s two blocked gave him 99 career blocked shots … UNI fell to 0-3 as the No. 3 seed at the MVC Tournament.

Story Courtesy of UNI Sports Information

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