Freshman guard Tywhon Pickford registered an 18-point, 18-rebound performance, lifting the UNI Panthers to a 64-60 win over North Carolina State in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017).

The victory advances the Panthers (5-1 overall) into the tournament's championship game. They'll face 5th-ranked Villanova (5-0 overall) for the title at 11 a.m. Friday on ESPN2.

UNI built a seven-point advantage in the first half, going ahead 19-12 at the 11:50 mark. North Carolina State battled back to tie the game at 32-32 at intermission.

The Wolfpack (5-1 overall) opened their own seven-point lead, at 49-42, midway through the second half. North Carolina State went ahead 49-42 on a three-pointer by Braxton Beverly with 9:38 left in the game.

UNI responded with a 10-2 run. The Panthers regained the lead at 52-51 on a pair of free throws by Bennett Koch with 5:35 remaining in the game. Koch ended the day with 16 points.

N.C. State's Markell Johnson buried a three-pointer with 3:38 left, giving the Wolfpack a 58-56 edge. UNI then evened the score on a dunk by Koch with 1:48 remaining.

Following a North Carolina State turnover, Juwan McCloud put the Panthers on top for good with his driving layup at the 1:08 mark. McCloud matched Koch's scoring total with 16 points on the afternoon.

Klint Carlson's bucket with :13 on the clock gave UNI a 62-58 lead. N.C. State's Omer Yurtseven tipped in a miss with :04.3 ticks left to pull the Wolfpack to within two at 62-60. Isaiah Brown then sealed the victory for UNI, draining a pair of free throws with :03.1 remaining.

Yurtseven led North Carolina State with 17 points. Allerick Freeman also scored 11 for the Wolfpack.

UP NEXT: UNI plays No. 5 Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game on Friday (Nov. 24). Tip-off from Imperial Arena on Paradise Island is set for 11 a.m. (Iowa time) on ESPN2. Karl Ravech and Dick Vitale will call the action for the network.


Courtesy: UNIAthletics MediaRoom via YouTube