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CEDAR FALLS — A couple shots fall, the crowd crescendos, adrenaline starts flowing.

Every game has multiple moments of tension when it becomes apparent to everyone in the arena that one team needs to come up with a big stop.

Too often Saturday night, University of Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson saw his team unable to build momentum with defensive plays as Stony Brook pulled away in the second half to secure a 73-63 victory inside the McLeod Center.

“You can certainly feel it, it doesn’t matter which team you’re on,” Jacobson said. “The crowd can feel it — this would be a really good time to get a stop. We don’t get the stop right now when all of us feel like it would be a great time to get a stop. That’s what needs to change the most.”

UNI (5-8) concludes nonconference play with the most losses by a Panther squad since Sam Weaver’s 2000-01 final team opened 3-8 and went on to finish 10th in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The backcourt duo of Wyatt Lohaus and AJ Green led UNI’s offense, but no other Panther tallied more than nine points. Lohaus finished with 23 points, two shy of his career high, while Green tallied 16 points and nine rebounds.

Stony Brook (12-3) was consistent on offense throughout the game. Sixth-man turned starter Andrew Garcia saw increased minutes in place of injured lead scorer Akwasi Yeboah and excelled.

Garcia finished a perfect 9-for-9 from the field and scored 21 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

“He put together a heck of a game going 9-for-9,” Jacobson said. “They put him in a spot where Trae was helping on the dive by their 5-man who was setting the ball screen and then going to the basket.

“(Garcia) was the only guy on that sideline. It got thrown back to him, he hit back-to-back 3s, and then he went in the paint and just moved our guys around and got two baskets inside in that second half. He put together a terrific half.”

Lohaus converted a fastbreak layup at the buzzer that cut UNI’s deficit to 36-34 at intermission and added four 3-pointers and 14 points in the second half, but too often UNI was unable to follow those baskets with defensive stops.

Stony Brook had four players finish with at least 11 points and shot 56 percent from the field in the second half. The Seawolves led by as many as 13 points with 9:18 remaining and continued to find points after UNI switched to a zone over the final seven minutes.

“They were running a couple actions where a lot of things were happening quickly whether that be a ball screen or a dribbling handoff or a screen under the rim,” Lohaus said. “A couple times either our communication or being at the right spots to help collectively as a team we weren’t there. It takes all five guys to cover that up. Just a few things where we’re off a step or half a second and that was all the difference.”

UNI opens Missouri Valley Conference play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bradley.

Stony Brook 73, UNI 63

Stony Brook Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Cornish 21 2-7 2-2 1 5 3 6

Latimer 33 4-11 1-3 8 0 1 11

Olaniyi 33 3-8 5-5 5 2 2 12

Otchere 20 2-2 0-0 4 1 4 4

Garcia 28 9-9 2-3 5 0 2 24

Moor 21 6-9 1-2 7 1 3 14

Long 7 0-1 0-0 0 2 0 0

McKenzie 19 0-5 0-0 0 2 0 0

Christie 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Ochefu 17 1-3 0-0 4 0 2 2

Team 3

Totals 200 27-55 11-15 38 12 19 73

UNI Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Pickford 9 0-2 1-2 2 1 0 1

Green 37 6-19 0-1 9 4 2 16

Wentzien 18 1-2 1-1 2 0 1 3

Berhow 33 2-7 2-3 5 0 4 8

McDonnell 11 0-2 0-0 3 2 1 0

Goldman 29 2-6 5-7 4 0 1 9

Lohaus 29 9-15 0-2 1 2 1 23

Brown 17 0-1 2-2 1 1 3 2

Haldeman 17 0-1 1-2 1 2 2 1

Team 5

Totals 200 20-55 12-20 33 12 15 63

Stony Brook 36 37 — 73

N. Iowa 34 29 — 63

3-point goals — SB 8-20 (Cornish 0-3, Latimer 2-7, Olaniyi 1-3, Garcia 4-4, Moor 1-2, Long 0-1), UNI 11-29 (Green 4-11, Berhow 2-6, Goldman 0-1, Lohaus 5-9, Brown 0-1, Haldeman 0-1). Blocks — SB 2 (Otchere, Garcia), UNI 2 (Goldman, Haldeman). Turnovers — SB 15 (Olaniyi 5), UNI 14 (Goldman 5). Steals — SB 9 (Moor 4), UNI 6 (Green, Haldeman 2).

Officials—Natili, Bemis, Chumley. Att.—3,262.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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