The UNI women's basketball team secured sole possession of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship with a 61-48 win at Evansville Saturday afternoon (March 5, 2016).

It's the second regular season crown for UNI Panthers (20-9 overall, 15-3 MVC) in program history, and the first since the 2010-11 season. Head Coach Tanya Warren guided the Panthers to both titles.

UNI’s 15 conference wins this season are the second-most in school history. The Panthers finished the the 2010-11 league season at 17-1.

Madison Weekly led the Panthers with 20 points, adding three rebounds and three assists. Jen Keitel finished with 12 points and six rebounds while Amber Sorenson scored her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

UNI began first quarter with Weekly hitting back-to-back threes, but Evansville answered with a 6-0 run to tie the score 8-8 with 4:32 on the clock. The Purple Aces turned it into a 10-0 run, holding UNI scoreless for the final 6:48 of the quarter, taking a 12-8 lead.

The Panthers quickly regained the advantage in the second quarter, scoring seven-straight points. The run included a big three-pointer from Mikaela Morgan, but Evansville was able to scrap back to tie the score 17-17 with less than five minutes to go in the second quarter.

After Evansville took a one-point lead with 2:14 left in the second quarter, UNI countered with four-straight points from Hannah Schonhardt to go into halftime up 23-20.

Evansville didn’t score its first field goal of the third quarter until the 6:46 mark, cutting the UNI lead to 27-26.

Angie Davison gave the Panthers an answer with a three-pointer on the next possession, putting UNI back up by four points. Davison’s trey was a part of a 17-3 run for the Panthers after they went 5-for-6 from the field, giving them a double-digit lead of 44-29 heading into the final quarter.

The Purple Aces whittled the UNI lead down to single-digits late in the fourth quarter with back-to-back layups. Weekly, however, stopped the run with 2:06 on the clock with a key three-pointer, giving UNI a 51-42 lead. The Panthers kept their composure down the stretch, knocking down eight made free throws to secure the victory.

With the win, UNI has secured the No. 1 seed in next week's MVC Tournament in the Quad Cities. The tournament runs March 10-13 at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill.