UNI Blasts Bradley In Valley Opener [Gallery] [Video]
The UNI Panthers ended their one month absence from the McLeod Center with a dominating effort Wednesday night (Dec. 30, 2015). They recorded their widest margin of victory in a Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) game, blasting the Bradley Braves, 80-44.
UNI's 36-point victory eclipsed a 34-point triumph over the Braves on Jan. 1, 2014, also in the McLeod Center.
The Panthers (9-5 overall, 1-0 MVC) were led by Jeremy Morgan's 18 points and six rebounds. Bennett Koch added 15 points and four rebounds. Wes Washpun, the MVC leader in assists, dished out a game-high six helpers.
Bradley (2-12 overall, 0-1 MVC) did not have a double-figure scorer and shot 33.3 percent from the floor.
The Braves and Panthers were tied 9-9 before UNI held Bradley without a point for a seven-minute, 20-second stretch of the first half. The Panthers took control of the game with a 13-0 run and eventually extended their lead to 18 points on Paul Jesperson's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, which put them up 46-28 at the break.
The Panthers out-scored Bradley in the second-half, 34-16. Their lead climbed as a high as 40 points, at 79-39, with 4:17 remaining in the game. UNI shredded the Braves' interior defense, outscoring the Braves 33-16 in the paint.
Wednesday night's home game was the first for UNI since a 93-70 victory over North Texas on Nov. 30. The Panthers lacked consistency in their seven-games away from the McLeod Center, going 3-4 on road trip that started on the East Coast in early December and ended in Hawaii on Christmas Day.
UP NEXT: UNI is on the road again this weekend, playing the Southern Illinois Salukis at 7 p.m. Saturday in Carbondale, Ill.
Video Courtesy of UNI Athletics via YouTube