CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa is making life miserable for its women’s basketball opponents these days.
That makes Panther head coach Tanya Warren very happy.
Sunday’s win over Evansville was UNI’s seventh in a row, and the Panthers (11-4 overall) are off to a 4-0 start in Missouri Valley Conference play.
“I’m extremely proud of how we are playing, especially at the defensive end,” Warren said Monday during UNI’s weekly coaches’ luncheon. “Our offense is helping our defense, and our defense is helping our offense.”
Statistically, UNI has allowed an average of just 52.1 points per game during its win streak. In four MVC games, that number is 51.0.
“That is what has allowed us, really, to play extremely well over the last several weeks,” Warren continued. “We also have had different kids step up in a variety of ways. We have challenged our kids not only defensively, but we have to rebound. We’ve been able to do that the last couple of weeks.”
Hannah Schonhardt leads the rebounding effort with an average of 8.3 per game. Sunday, she pulled down a career-high 18 boards. Megan Maahs is second on the team at 5.7 rebounds per game.
This week will present road challenges at Illinois State Friday and Bradley Sunday.
In other news, Warren also pointed out that her players put together a 3.61 team grade-point average for the first semester.
“When you talk about being in season and traveling and practicing and all those things, for them to be able to do that consistently is incredible,” she noted.
WRESTLING: Head coach Doug Schwab’s wrestlers are off to a strong start in the new year with five placewinners at the Southern Scuffle, five champions at the Flanagan Open and a dual win over Northern Illinois Sunday.
It’s the type of progress Schwab wants to see as his team heads into the stretch of the season.
“I like where we’re going as a team,” said Schwab.
“That’s kind of what we’re continuing to focus on is how much ground we can cover and how much better can we get, and guys are really taking it upon themselves to do that on a daily basis.”
UNI wrestles at Central Michigan Sunday at 1 p.m.
WOMEN’S SWIMMING: After an extended stretch of training with no meets, UNI returns to competition Friday when it hosts Iowa Central and Loras at 5 p.m.
Head coach Doug Humphrey said he pushed his team to the limit during its holiday season workouts.
“No matter what I threw at them, they took it, they did extremely well, and they bounced back for the next workout,” he said. “They really outdid any expectations I had for their training over this break and it really makes me excited for what this team’s capable of as we move forward in this next phase.”