Trae Berhow scored a game-high 19 points and four other UNI players scored in double-figures, leading the Panthers to a 98-53 victory over St. Ambrose at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls Friday night.

The 6'5" senior guard from Mayer, Minn., was making his season-debut after passing COVID-19 protocol. Berhow tallied 12 points in the second half, while shooting 5-of-6 from the floor. He also dished out team-high five assists and grabbed six rebounds.

Underclassmen made big contributions for the Panthers. Sophomore Noah Carter scored 17 points, freshman Bowen Born added 16 and sophomore James Betz chipped in 14. Freshman Nate Heise scored 11 and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.

UNI (1-3), playing its first home game of the season, jumped out to a big lead early in the first half and took a 52-27 lead into the break. The Panthers ended the night shooting 52.1% (38-73) from the field, while making 37% (10-27) of their shots from beyond the arch.

None of the players scored in double-figures for St. Ambrose (0-1), a Davenport-based NAIA school. Michael Williams led the Fighting Bees with nine points, and John Kerr grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

UNI Head Coach Ben Jacobson was forced to alter his line-up against St. Ambrose. Several off-court developments this week could have a major impact on the Panthers' success this season.

Before the game, UNI athletic officials announced that junior guard and preseason Missouri Valley Conference player of the year AJ Green is having his hip evaluated by medical personnel and sophomore guard Antwan Kimmons has decided to take an indefinite leave of absence from the team.

Green, who's averaging a team-high 22.3 points points per game, will continue to gather information and discuss options with doctors, family, and coaches.

“AJ is doing well," Jacobson said. "He is rehabbing with our trainer and gathering information. He has great support from his family, his teammates and our staff as we work through this process. No decisions will be made until we have all of the information necessary to move forward. Until that time, AJ is looking forward to helping our team in different role with his experience and leadership while we practice and on game night.”

According to Jacobson, Kimmons is returning home to Minnesota to work through some of the many challenges presented by the current pandemic. Kimmons will remain enrolled at UNI and complete his spring semester coursework online.

“Antwan and I have had a number of conversations about the impact the last several months have had on him personally," Jacobson said. "I am extremely proud of him for his willingness to address where he is at and the decision he has made to spend time at home. Antwan feels good, he is doing well and feels great about the support he has from his teammates, our program, and Panther Nation. We look forward to his return to campus at the appropriate time.”

Courtesy: UNI Athletics via YouTube

Courtesy: UNI Athletics via YouTube

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College Basketball: UNI vs. St. Ambrose - Dec. 4, 2020