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CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa’s basketball team didn’t show any signs of jet lag following last week’s trip to Cancun.

Determined to find continued growth, UNI put on a show Monday night during the team’s final game before next week’s crucial non-conference road trip to No. 20 Colorado and Grand Canyon University. The Panthers overwhelmed NCAA Division III Luther College, 110-51, putting up men’s basketball numbers the McLeod Center has never seen in the process.

The point total was the largest in UNI coach Ben Jacobson’s 13-year career, while the 59-point margin of victory ranked second in program history. A McLeod Center record for field goals made was set at 42, while the rebounding mark was tied with 50 boards.

“It’s really important to continue to take steps forward,” UNI point guard AJ Green said, after knocking down five 3-pointers and finishing with 19 points and four assists. “No matter who we’re playing, we just need to always try and get better. I think we did a good job of that tonight.”

Trae Berhow’s quick catch-and-shoot release matched Green’s five 3-pointers on just seven attempts, and Noah Carter added four treys and a game-high 25 points for a UNI team that had six players combine to make 19 3-pointers at a 50-percent success rate.

In total, six Panthers finished with at least 10 points. That included center Austin Phyfe, who converted all five of his field goal attempts and added nine rebounds in 17 minutes as part of UNI’s 50-22 advantage on the glass.

Jacobson challenged his team to stay between Luther’s ball-handlers and the basket, rebound and push the ball in transition.

“The guys checked off one, two and three tonight,” UNI’s coach said.

Northern Iowa (8-1) made its first nine field goals and Luther (4-5) missed its first nine attempts as the Panthers jumped out to a 19-0 lead five minutes into the game.

Antwan Kimmons took a creative path to the basket and added another layup at the end of a 15-3 UNI run that closed the final six minutes of the first half.

When James Kappus hit a pair of 3-pointers to cap Luther’s biggest run of eight points, UNI answered with five 3-pointers over a 4:10 stretch that pushed the Panthers’ advantage to 82-36.

Carter mixed in a tip dunk to go with his strong shooting performance as he joined James Betz (eight points, five rebounds) and Kimmons (13 points, five assists) within a freshman class that is progressing.

“It’s nice when the team is on fire like that,” Carter said. “We’ve got our feet in the water now and we’re just trying to continue to push and get better. We’ve all come together. The chemistry has been really good. We’re just pushing forward.”

Jacobson pointed out that Carter is coming off a game against South Carolina where he showed growth defensively with his physicality and footwork. The freshman from Dubuque’s offensive skillset can’t be taught.

“Every spot on the floor he can get points and that’s unique,” Jacobson said. “Where we’ve challenged him is at the defensive end of the floor, attacking the glass all the time, and he’s made tremendous progress.”

UNI’s coach was also impressed with how seniors Lincoln Conrey and Luke McDonnell handled their 12-plus minutes of run Monday, along with how senior Justin Dahl handled not seeing the court.

“You’re talking about two seniors that practice their tails off every day and they went in and did everything they were supposed to do,” Jacobson said. “They stayed down on shot fakes, they’re defending hard, they rebounded. Luke is talking and getting James moving offensively to help him with what we’re doing.

“Then JD (Justin Dahl) not going in the game after playing great in the last two. He didn’t even look at me once like, ‘Hey coach when am I going in?’ He knows what’s going on to get James those minutes and experience. That’s a tremendous thing to have going with your team.”

PICKFORD RECOVERING: UNI guard Tywhon Pickford missed Monday’s game after taking two knees to the same spot in his quad. Jacobson noted Pickford’s condition has recently improved.

UNI 110, Luther 51

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

Blumberg 23 2-7 0-0 2 1 3 4

Randolph 24 2-5 0-0 2 1 1 6

Whitlock 18 0-4 0-0 4 3 0 0

Kappus 22 3-10 1-2 2 2 3 10

Wade 28 4-11 0-0 3 0 1 10

Westhusing 18 2-6 0-0 0 1 0 5

Thompson 23 5-10 0-0 0 1 1 11

Bagga 16 1-5 0-0 3 0 1 2

Ilunga 19 1-2 0-0 3 0 1 2

Pennix 3 0-2 0-0 0 0 1 0

Shed 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Blanks 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Desmul 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 5

Totals 200 20-63 1-2 22 11 9 51

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

Phyfe 17 5-5 0-1 9 0 1 10

Green 20 7-14 0-0 3 4 0 19

Berhow 21 6-8 0-0 5 1 1 17

Brown 23 3-4 0-0 4 1 0 6

Haldeman 23 4-7 0-0 4 4 0 10

Kimmons 26 4-6 4-4 2 5 0 13

Betz 19 2-3 2-2 5 1 1 8

Carter 25 10-16 1-1 8 1 2 25

Conrey 12 0-2 0-0 4 1 0 0

McDonnell 12 1-4 0-0 3 0 1 2

Team 1

Totals 200 42-69 7-8 50 18 6 110

Luther 26 2551

N. Iowa 60 50110

3-point goals – Luther 10-33 (Blumberg 0-3, Randolph 2-5, Kappus 3-9, Wade 2-4, Westhusing 1-4, Thompson 1-4, Bagga 1-3, Pennix 0-1), UNI 19-38 (Green 5-10, Berhow 5-7, Haldeman 2-5, Kimmons 1-2, Betz 2-3, Carter 4-8, Conrey 0-1, McDonnell 0-2). Blocks – Luther 2 (Whitlock, Ilunga), UNI 2 (Betz, McDonnell). Turnovers – Luther 10 (Bagga 3), UNI 8 (Green 3). Steals – Luther 6 (Kappus, Wade 2), UNI 3 (three at 1).

Att. – 3,088.

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