UNI Downs Drake 64-58 To Advance To Third Round Of WNIT
The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball team advanced to the third round of the WNIT, broke two school records and took down the Drake Bulldogs at home on Saturday night, posting a 64-58 win. UNI improved to 24-10 overall.
Drake was able to hit two shots in the last eight seconds of the game, but it wasn’t enough overcome UNI’s 11-point lead that they held with 40 seconds on the clock, securing the Panthers’ 64-58 win. UNI was led in points by senior Amber Sorenson at 16, with Madison Weekly and Stephanie Davison adding 13 and 15 points each, respectively.
Sharnae Lamar also turned in one of the best games of her career, finishing with a school record 15 assists and only one turnover. Her 15 assists gives her 189 this season, also setting a new single-season UNI record. She added four points, four rebounds and two steals to her stat line, rounding out UNI’s top performers.
The Panthers took a 7-2 lead early in the first quarter after forcing three consecutive turnovers on the Bulldogs, countering with a 7-0 run sparked by two threes from Weekly. UNI and Drake both had shooting woes down the stretch of the opening quarter, going a combined 4-for-22 from the floor with Sorenson knocking down a three to make it 15-9 with seven seconds left on the clock.
Drake quickly tied the score 15-15, going 3-for-3 from the field to start the second quarter, but UNI’s defense got stingy, keeping the Bulldogs scoreless for over three minutes, allowing the Panthers to take a 19-15 lead. UNI and Drake traded baskets late in the second quarter, with Drake taking a one-point lead with 2:38 on the clock, but another three from Sorenson and a clutch layup from Alyssa Johnson put UNI up 24-23 heading into halftime.
UNI hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the third quarter off the hands of Sorenson and Davison, jumping out to a 30-27 lead in the first two minutes of play. UNI’s first five buckets of the third quarter all came from behind the arc, including a key trey from Hannah Schonhardt with 3:43 remaining in the quarter to give UNI a 39-34 lead, its largest of the second half.
The Panthers entered the fourth quarter with a six-point lead, extending it to 52-42 with 6:16 left in the game on a three-pointer from Davison to give UNI its 10-point advantage. UNI led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 55-percent from the arc with Weekly scoring 10 of her 13 points in the final period to help UNI to its third win over Drake this season.
UNI will play the winner of the Minnesota/South Dakota game that takes place Sunday (March 20) at 1:00 PM-CT CT. For information on UNI’s Sweet 16 opponent and game times, check www.UNIPanthers.com following the end of second round play on Sunday.
Story Contributed By UNI Athletic Communnications