UNI Throttles Wartburg in Season Debut to Start 1-0
Early and often. As it should be against an NCAA Division III team.
UNI loaded the box score and blew out Wartburg College on Monday night, leading from tip to final horn and winning by a final score of 105-49.
Missouri Valley Conference Sixth Man of the Year Bowen Born and Cedar Falls native Trey Campbell got things started, coming together to score the first three buckets of the night, totaling seven of the Panthers' first points before taking the 12-5 lead over the Knights into the first media time out at 15:54 left in the half.
Things really took off from there.
Over the next ten minutes of play, UNI went on a 29-11 run. Born and Campbell stayed hot, finishing the half 10-14 from the field and 2-5 from deep and putting together 23 of Northern Iowa's 53 first-half points.
Born said Campbell's play:
He's never sped up, he's always playing at his own pace. Tonight he looked really solid.
The defense also held strong over the opening 20 minutes, forcing 16 Knight turnovers to UNI's four, and Wartburg shot just 2-14 and 8-27 from the field.
Coach Ben Jacobson said this of the first half:
I really like the start of the game. I loved the improvement there with out guys. Mostly, just the aggressive approach we took to the defensive side and the pace we played with on offense. ... I liked what we saw tonight.
In the second half, it was more of the same.
Born came out firing in the first six minutes, adding five more points before Coach Jake had him ride the pine for the remainder of the contest, opting for the bench unit. He finished with 19 points and three assists.
After scoring just seven points last Wednesday vs. Dubuque, Born said he felt more comfortable after a mindset shift:
I took that (performance) and learned from it. I looked to be aggressive and just play (tonight). ... You're at your best when you're out there playing free.
Then, it was time to spread the wealth.
Walk-on forwards Drew Daniel and Derek Krogmann went to work, as Daniel banged home three open corner threes and put in a floater to score 11 points, and Krogmann put in a few layups for six points.
Jacobson had this to say of Daniel after the game:
Our guys have a ton of confidence in him, and as you can see, there's no hesitation (from three). He's going to put it up, and he should. ... The more guys that we have that can make threes, the better.
Another Cedar Falls native Landon Wolf went back to work in the second half after putting up eights points in the first half, finishing with 18 points, going 4-8 from three and 5-10 from the field.
The Panthers put up 52 more points total before the end of the night, taking the victory over the opponent up the road.
Born finished with this:
I felt like today was the best start we got, and we built off that start. This was the most complete game we've played so far. ... The guys did a good job of playing with pace. ... I think it started with us setting the tone on defense, and the offense flowed. We did our thing.
UNI's next game will be at Richmond on Friday, November 11 at 6 PM CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.