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UNI whips Valpo 63-51 for 20th win

aj green
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VALPARAISO, Indiana – The UNI men’s basketball team moved to 20-3 overall and 8-2 in the MVC after defeating the Crusaders of Valparaiso 63-51 on Wednesday night.

The Panther defense opened the half holding the Crusaders to just 16.7% from the field in the opening eight minutes of play. The Panthers would ride the momentum to a 15 point lead at half following a Spencer Haldeman three pointer at the buzzer. Leading the Crusaders 34-19 at half the Panthers shot 39.4% from the field while downing six three pointers. UNI out rebounded the Crusaders 24-21 and recorded 5 turnovers to the Crusaders 7.

Austin Phyfe led the scoring effort in the first half, scoring 10 points, going 5-6 from the field. The sophomore big man also led the team with six rebounds. Phyfe was followed closely by Trae Berhow with five rebounds and Tywhon Pickford who hauled in four first half rebound.

Valparaiso would outscore the Panthers 32-29 in the second half shooting just 35.7 % from the field. UNI led the game for a just over 39 minutes while the Crusaders never led in the contest.

After scoring five points in the first half sophomore AJ Green added 14 second half points to lead the Panthers in scoring. Austin Phyfe recorded his sixth double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  Isaiah Brown recorded 10 points and Antwan Kimmons came off the bench to finish with seven points.

KEY STATS

-          First 20 win season since 2015-16.

-          AJ Green led the Panthers in scoring with 19 points

-          Austin Phyfe recorded his 6th double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds

-          Trae Berhow finished with 11 rebounds and led the team with 4 assists

UP NEXTThe Panthers will now host instate rival Drake in the McLeod Center on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs are 15-8 on the season and 5-5 in the MVC with an 8 PM game against Bradley still to play on Wednesday night. The game will tip off at 3 PM and will be broadcast on the MVC TV Network. 

Rick Coleman

Sports Director

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