UNI Suffers Rare November Loss At McLeod Center
The UNI Panthers shot a chilly 26-percent and dropped their third-straight game, falling to George Mason, 54-50, Wednesday night (Nov. 30, 2016).
The early-season home loss was a rarity for the Panthers. It marked only the second time in 28 games that an opponent defeated UNI at the McLeod Center during the month of November since the facility opened a decade ago.
George Mason (5-3 overall) also won the rebounding battle. The Patriots enjoyed a 53-29 advantage on the boards. Jaire Grayer, the son of former Iowa State standout Jeff Grayer, led the visitors with 14 points.
UNI's cold shooting started in the first half, when the Panthers missed 16 consecutive shots and went without a field goal for more than 11 minutes. Juwan McCloud scored the game's first points on a layup, but UNI would not hit another basket until Spencer Haldeman knocked in a 3-pointer with 8:24 left in the first half. George Mason, though, was only able to build an 18-8 lead during UNI's shooting drought.
The Panthers (3-3 overall) closed the first half on a 20-6 run and owned a 28-24 lead at intermission. Haldeman sparked the spurt to end the half, burying a trio of 3-pointers. Jordan Ashton hit a triple for UNI with 41-seconds remaining and Hunter Rhodes drained a trifecta from the right wing just before the halftime buzzer.
UNI extended its lead to six at 32-26 following a basket from Klint Carlson early in the second half. Then, another stretch of scoreless basketball for the Panthers -- nearly four-minutes -- allowed the Patriots to take a 36-32 lead with 14:22 left in the game.
The home squad used an 8-0 run to build a five-point lead with 8:37 remaining. After the Patriots narrowed the deficit, a dunk by senior Jeremy Morgan put the Panthers up five, again, with 4:50 to go following a media timeout.
George Mason, however, refused to surrender and took its first lead of the second half, at 48-47, with 1:49 left. The Patriots sealed the victory by going six-for-six at the free throw line in the final minute of the game.
Halderman, a redshirt freshman guard, led UNI with 16 points. Bennett Koch chipped in 10 for the Panthers.
UP NEXT: UNI travel to Laramie, Wyo. on Saturday (Dec. 3) for a game against Wyoming in the Missouri Valley/Mountain West Challenge. Tip is set for 2 p.m. (CT).