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CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball team has one game left before the holiday break, but time and practice might be the only things that can heal the struggling Panthers.

UNI (3-7) travels to Manhattan, Kan., Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff with another tough opponent, Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference.

UNI dropped a 71-47 decision to No. 25 Iowa Sunday where head coach Tanya Warren said she saw a lot of the same issues that have hampered her team during a tough non-conference slate.

The Panthers have played the 15th-best schedule to date in Division I basketball, including games against Iowa State, Creighton and Iowa.

“I’ve got good news and bad news,” Warren said Monday. “Bad news is we lost in our offensive end once again. Good news is we have played the 15th-toughest non-conference schedule in the country and even losing yesterday we jumped 25 spots in the RPI.”

Warren said she is not discouraged about UNI’s start and offensive struggles, but is frustrated. That’s why Monday Warren said instead of beginning prep work on Kansas State, the team focused on itself.

UNI is shooting just 37 percent from the field and just 30 percent from 3-point range where the Panthers have been deadly in previous seasons.

“As I have said all along, I really like what we have done defensively,” Warren said. “It is just offensively ... we have been unable to sustain offense, which would take some pressure off our defense.”

Warren added Monday’s practice involved a lot of shooting and some adjustments with the team’s motion offense in an attempt to get more movement.

“We are getting good shots. We are getting the shots that we want,” Warren said. “We are missing a lot of easy shots. It is a confidence thing. We have to get our confidence back.”

UNI hosted Kansas State last season, a 67-59 win for the Panthers. While Warren was just in the beginning stages of breaking down KSU film, she does know one thing.

“The one thing I do know at this point is they are going to play 40 minutes of zone,” Warren said. “At this point, even if they didn’t, they would with the way we are shooting the basketball.”

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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