CEDAR FALLS -- Tanya Warren's bank account will be a little lighter today.
The University of Northern Iowa's women's basketball head coach pledged $25 to cancer research for every 3-point basket her team scored during Sunday's Missouri Valley Conference game against Evansville.
Warren's Panthers made the most of their coach's offer, knocking down 15 shots from long range as they routed the Aces 95-46 at the McLeod Center.
"Today we got to play for something that is bigger than ourselves and bigger than our school," Warren said. "This is such a great cause and it makes me appreciate what cancer survivors really go through. This cause is much bigger than the game itself."
UNI (17-9, 10-4) took control early and never looked back.
"Our girls got into their rhythm early and I think this was the most complete game from start to finish that we have played," said Warren. "Our depth has really gotten better, especially with the injuries we have gone through, and their consistent contributions off the bench have been so much better."
The Panthers had nine players contribute 16 minutes or more in the game. All nine scored at least four points, and five finished in double figures.
Leading the charge for the home team was sophomore Nicole Kroeger, who led all scorers with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
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"This was a fun game to be in and there was extra incentive to go after those 3s and get into coach's pockets a little," Kroeger said with a smile. "It was for a great cause and I think everyone wanted to get some 3s to help out.
"It was easy to go out there today and follow the game plan and just make it fun."
The Panthers led 23-13 after the first quarter and 46-22 at halftime. They scored at least 22 points in every quarter.
The Aces did attempt a short rally early in the second period when they cut the deficit to 27-19, but Karli Rucker got into the 3-point parade that halted that run.
UNI then went on a 13-0 run with Cedar Falls High graduate Cynthia Wolf joining the fun with a 3 from the top of the key, plus a layup on a nice pass from Kroeger to increase the advantage to 40-19.
"Once I hit that first 3 it just felt great," said the 6-foot-3 Wolf, who finished with 11 points. "We were making our shots and we just got better as the game went on."
Wolf snagged eight defensive rebounds, which tied her with teammate Heidi Hillyard for the game.
Hillyard also collected 10 points on the offensive end, as did Bre Gunnels. Mikaela Morgan had 16 points, and UNI recorded assists on 23 of its 33 field goals with four players dishing out four apiece.