Subscribe for 33¢ / day

CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa’s lone senior, Kennedy Kirkpatrick, displayed timely leadership, while head coach Tanya Warren and sophomore center Megan Maahs had career nights Friday inside the McLeod Center.

It all added up to a strong finish as UNI secured a 66-48 win over Illinois State.

The victory marked Warren’s 200th career win in 11 seasons running the Panthers’ program. She’s just the fifth Missouri Valley Conference head coach to reach that number with a league school.

“As I’ve said many, many times, it takes a village,” said Warren, who has led UNI to all three of the program’s NCAA Tournament appearances. “I’ve been extremely blessed to be surrounded by amazing people.

“Coach (Brad) Nelson has been with me for every single one of them. Coach (KK) Armstrong played for me and was a part of a lot of them. Steven (Fennelly) has been a great addition. I can’t say enough about our past and our present players. They give everything they have to this program and we would not be where we are if they don’t do what they do.”

Part of Warren’s recipe for success was evident in this win as UNI improved to 14-12 overall and 10-5 in the MVC. It all starts with defense and taking away the other team’s top scoring option.

On this night, Illinois State (13-14, 7-9) was forced to operate without its scoring leader, Simone Goods. She was limited to eight minutes due to foul trouble and turned the ball over on four occasions in that brief time span.

“We were able to frustrate her from start to finish and not allow her to get into a rhythm,” Warren said.

UNI’s offense briefly slumped into a near five-minute scoring drought in the third quarter as Illinois State took a 37-36 advantage on Hannah Green’s 3-pointer that capped a 10-0 run.

Kirkpatrick, playing in her final home weekend, made sure the Redbirds’ lead only lasted 14 seconds. She answered with a go-ahead layup before knocking down a 3-pointer and finding Mikaela Morgan for a triple in the final minute of the third stanza.

The veteran point guard finished with 10 points and four assists, adding passes to Morgan and Ellie Howell for fourth-quarter 3-pointers.

UNI’s efficient 9 of 19 perimeter effort was set up by Maahs, who recorded her career-high 18th point at the end of a 16-0 fourth-quarter knockout run.

“I’ve just been working hard on getting my shoulders squared to the hoop and finding the glass,” said Maahs, who made 7 of 11 field goal attempts. “Credit goes to my team, though, for finding me and getting me the ball when I was sealing (defenders).”

UNI finished a season-best 21 of 40 (52.5 percent) from the field and 15 of 16 from the free throw line.

“We had some really good movement,” Kirkpatrick said. “We were setting ball screens and Megan was rolling really hard to the rim so they had to take her away and we were getting shooters open on the back side. I thought we saw the open person, made the extra pass and knocked down shots tonight.”

UNI 66, Illinois St. 48

Illinois St. Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Beck 38 2-8 2-2 3 1 1 7

Saylor 38 1-5 0-0 2 3 2 2

Livingston 35 5-9 0-0 0 0 1 13

Talbot 32 2-10 5-6 8 3 2 9

Green 36 5-11 0-0 4 1 0 11

Beckles 2 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0

Simmons 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Stevens 5 0-0 1-2 1 0 0 1

Corrigan 2 0-0 2-2 0 0 1 2

Allen 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Goods 8 1-2 1-2 1 1 4 3

Team 4

Totals 200 16-46 11-14 24 9 12 48

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

Howell 36 3-6 4-4 0 1 2 13

Simon-Ressler 18 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 3

Kirkpatrick 31 4-8 0-0 2 4 2 10

Morgan 30 3-5 0-0 4 2 0 8

Maahs 28 7-11 4-4 5 0 2 18

Rucker 9 2-2 2-2 2 0 0 6

Kroeger 1 1-5 2-2 6 4 0 5

Gunnels 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Garrison-Nickerson 2 0-0 1-2 0 0 1 1

Wheatcraft 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0

Hillyard 8 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 0

Hagen 10 0-0 2-2 3 0 2 2

Gerrits 6 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0

Robson 1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Team 4

Totals 200 21-40 15-16 28 13 14 66

Illinois St. 10 12 17 9 — 48

N. Iowa 17 12 17 20 — 66

3-point goals—ISU 5-14 (Beck 1-5, Saylor 0-2, Livingston 3-3, Talbot 0-1, Green 1-3), UNI 9-19 (Howell 3-4, Simon-Ressler 1-2, Kirkpatrick 2-4, Morgan 2-4, Maahs 0-1, Kroeger 1-4). Blocks—ISU 2 (Talbot, Green), UNI 4 (Maahs 2). Turnovers—ISU 15 (Goods 4), UNI 16 (three at 3). Steals—ISU 6 (Saylor 3), UNI 5 (five at 1).

Officials — Daley, Brooks, Brost. Att.—1,461.

0
0
0
0
0

Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

Load comments