ORLANDO, Fla. — Northern Iowa shot just 28 percent overall and dropped a 53-43 women’s basketball decision to Central Florida Sunday to wrap up the Central Florida Thanksgiving Classic.

The Panthers (2-3) stayed in the game with strong defense of their own, trailing just 27-22 at halftime and pulling within a point at the start of the second half before Central Florida (4-3) went on a 13-5 run to regain control.

Kennedy Kirkpatrick’s 14 points led UNI while Megan Maahs added 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Panthers were just 3 of 21 from 3-point range and 17 of 61 overall while scoring a season-low 43 points.

UNI plays at South Dakota State Thursday at 7 p.m.

Central Fla. 53, UNI 43

UNI (2-3) — Hillyard 0-2 0-0 0, Maahs 3-12 3-6 10, Howell 2-10 1-2 6, Kirkpatrick 6-16 2-4 14, Morgan 1-8 0-0 2, Rucker 0-2 0-0 0, Kroeger 0-1 0-0 0, Gunnels 0-1 0-0 0, Simon-Ressler 0-0 0-0 0, Hagen 4-8 0-0 8, Gerrits 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 17-61 6-12 43.

CENTRAL FLORIDA (4-3) — Kaba 2-7 2-2 6, Shuler 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 3-9 0-0 7, Gregory 8-17 0-0 16, Wilson 3-6 0-0 6, Thigpen 1-2 0-0 2, McDonald 0-2 0-0 0, Ndour 0-4 1-2 1, Paul 4-5 1-1 9, Uwusiaba 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 24-56 4-5 53.

North. Iowa 13 9 11 10 — 43

Central Fla. 15 12 15 11 — 53

3-point goals—UNI 3-21 (Hillyard 0-1, Maahs 1-2, Howell 1-5, Kirkpatrick 0-6, Morgan 0-5, Kroeger 0-1, Gerrits 1-1), Central Florida 1-4 (Wright 1-2, McDonald 0-2). Rebounds—UNI 44 (Maahs 12), Central Florida 35 (Shuler 11). Assists—UNI 8 (Kirkpatrick 4), Central Florida 11 (Wright 6). Turnovers—UNI 15 (Kirkpatrick 4), Central Florida 11 (Kaba 2, Wright 2). Blocks—UNI 0, Central Florida 5 (Kaba 3). Steals—UNI 5 (Kirkpatrick 3), Central Florida 8 (Wright 4). Total fouls—UNI 12. Central Florida 16. Fouled out—Shuler. Att.—2,755.

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