Subscribe for 33¢ / day

VALPARAISO, Ind. — Senior Bennett Koch reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career and Northern Iowa won its first Missouri Valley Conference road game of the season Tuesday at Valparaiso, 68-63.

The Panthers shot 55 percent for the game and got 25 points from Koch, who converted all eight of his field goal attempts and also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.

Koch’s ninth free-throw make of the game with :05 to play put him at exactly 1,000 points for his career.

“He was just playing tonight,” said UNI head coach Ben Jacobson. “When he’s in that mode and he’s active like that, he impacts the game at both ends of the floor. It was fun to see that tonight. He’s been really good for about three weeks now.

“The play of Hunter (Rhodes), Klint (Carlson) and Benny as seniors was important. I thought they were really competitive.”

Carlson and Spencer Haldeman added 11 points each for UNI (14-15 overall, 6-11 MVC), which snapped an 11-game losing streak in true road games dating back to last season. The Panthers were 0-9 on the road this season, including 0-8 in MVC games.

“The guys just stuck with it in a big way,” said Jacobson. “It was fun to see the guys get rewarded for working hard every day to get better and get to where it paid off for us tonight.”

UNI hit eight of its 13 shots, including four buckets by Koch, to take a 21-19 lead with 7 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first half. Valparaiso (14-16, 5-12) hung close by knocking down four of its first six shots from 3-point range.

The Panthers answered every Crusader surge the rest of the game and never surrendered the lead, although they couldn’t pull away, either.

Hunter Rhodes’ layup with :02 on the first-half clock sent UNI off with a 38-34 lead after a half in which the Panthers shot 65 percent and Valparaiso 62 percent.

UNI led by as many as eight points in the second half, but the Crusaders were within 62-59 with :38 remaining. Haldeman, who drained a big 3-pointer to give UNI a 62-56 lead with :47 to play, hit two free throws and Koch four of six to close it out. The Panthers went 22 of 32 from the line for the game.

“I thought there were two defensive stretches that were really important,” said Jacobson. “At the start of the game, it was 2-0 after seven minutes. We weren’t scoring, either, but in a deal like that on their home floor on senior night, they could have gotten it going and put us in a big hole.

“Then at the start of the second half they were 2-for-13. Those two stretches allowed us to have a lead at halftime and play with a lead in the second half.”

UNI wraps up its regular season Saturday when it hosts Missouri State at 1 p.m. in the McLeod Center.

UNI 68, Valparaiso 63

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

Carlson 29 4-6 3-4 5 1 3 11

Koch 29 8-8 9-14 7 1 2 25

Pickford 31 1-3 3-5 7 0 2 5

Rhodes 32 2-8 2-4 2 3 1 7

Brown 25 1-2 0-0 3 0 1 2

Friedman 3 1-1 0-0 0 0 1 2

Haldeman 20 2-3 5-5 1 0 1 11

Lohaus 29 2-6 0-0 0 2 1 5

Phyfe 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 2

Totals 200 21-38 22-32 27 7 12 68

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

McMillan 13 2-5 0-0 3 0 3 6

Smits 12 0-1 0-0 1 0 4 0

Walker 36 4-11 4-4 4 0 3 13

Joseph 30 2-4 1-3 4 1 3 5

Evelyn 38 7-14 2-3 2 0 3 19

Hazen 2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0

Bradford 14 2-3 0-0 1 1 1 5

Golder 28 6-9 0-1 5 3 0 14

Sorolla 15 0-2 1-2 3 0 5 1

Kiser 12 0-1 0-0 1 2 5 0

Team 2

Totals 200 23-50 8-13 27 7 28 63

N. Iowa 38 30 — 68

Valparaiso 34 29 — 63

3-point goals — UNI 4-11 (Rhodes 1-6, Haldeman 2-2, Lohaus 1-3), Valparaiso 9-19 (McMillan 2-5, Walker 1-2, Evelyn 3-7, Bradford 1-2, Golder 2-3). Turnovers — UNI 11 (Pickford 4), Valparaiso 12 (Evelyn 3). Blocks — UNI 4 (Koch 2, Pickford 2), Valparaiso 2 (Golder 1, Sorolla 1). Steals — UNI 3 (Koch 1, Brown 1, Lohaus 1), Valparaiso 7 (Evelyn 2, Bradford 2).

Officials — Eades, Self, Smith. Att. — 2,071.

1
0
1
0
0

Load comments