Panthers Beat Loyola In Double-Overtime Thriller
The UNI Panthers won a thrilling game at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, beating Loyola of Chicago, 72-69, in double-overtime Wednesday night (Jan. 18, 2017).
The victory was the second-straight for UNI (7-11 overall, 2-5 MVC), which ended a seven-game losing streak on Sunday. During the skid, the Panthers were dominated by Ramblers, 77-66, in Chicago.
Bennett Koch tallied his second-consecutive 21-point scoring contest for UNI, despite making just 3-of-10 shots from the floor. Foul trouble limited Koch to just three minutes of playing time in the first half, but he was a force to be reckoned with in the final 30 minutes. The Ashwaubenon, Wis., native finished the night with a game-high nine rebounds and went 15-of-17 from the free throw line.
Three other players tallied double-figures for the Panthers. Jeremy Morgan scored 17 and Jordan Ashton chipped in 13. Freshman Luke McDonnell also added 13 points off the bench, a career-high.
Loyola (13-7 overall, 3-4 MVC) was led by Donte Ingram's 19 points and nine rebounds.
UNI held an eight-point lead with 16.5 seconds left in the second overtime session only to see the Ramblers rally and get a shot to tie at the end. Loyola's Milton Doyle made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Ashton with 11.1 left on the clock. Morgan made 1-of-2 free throws with 7.5 remaining and Ingram drove the length of the floor for a layup with 1.4 left and Loyola trailing 72-69.
Following a timeout, Ashton turned the ball over on the Panthers' inbound pass and Loyola had one shot to tie the score. Doyle's three-point attempt hit the glass and bounced off the front of the rim, giving the UNI the three-point victory.
The Ramblers led by six at 13-7 less than five minutes into the game. UNI battled back to tie the game at 17-17 on a three-pointer from Jordan Ashton with 8:50 left in the half. Loyola responded with an 8-0, giving the Ramblers their biggest lead of the game at 25-17. Morgan then closed the half with a three-pointer for UNI just before the buzzer, cutting Loyola's halftime lead to 28-24.
UNI turned to Koch at the start of the second half. He scored 13 points in regulation and tallied eight more in the two extra sessions. The junior also scored 21 points in Sunday's win over Drake.
Koch's two free throws with 2:00 left in regulation gave UNI a 51-48 lead. However, Loyola scored five straight points to take a 53-51 lead with 21.8 seconds left. Morgan drew a foul on UNI's ensuing possession and drained both free throws with 8.6 left. Loyola turned it over coming up the floor and Morgan's three-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the glass and rim but did not go down - forcing the game into overtime at 53-53.
Loyola made the only field goal in the first overtime period as the Panthers went 5-of-6 at the foul line to keep the game deadlocked at 58-58. UNI outscored the Ramblers 14-11 in the second overtime.
UP NEXT: UNI travels to Carbondale, Ill. on Saturday (Jan. 21) for a 7 p.m. game against Southern Illinois.