Cedar Falls, Iowa – Blake Ahearn scored a game-high 19 points to lead Missouri State to a hard-fought 62-58 win over the University of Northern Iowa Saturday night at the McLeod Center. With the victory, Missouri State improved to 19-7 overall, 10-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while UNI fell to 16-10, 7-8.
Jared Josten (Webster City, Iowa) scored a career-high 16 points to lead UNI, while Brooks McKowen (Fairbank, Iowa) added 15. The Panthers Grant Stout (New Sharon, Iowa) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
UNI nearly came from way back to pull out the win. The Bears took a 52-40 lead with 7:09 left in the game after Deven Mitchell’s conventional three-point play. But UNI rallied, going on a 12-3 run over the next four minutes. McKowen capped the rally with a conventional three-point play of this own, pulling UNI within 55-52 with 3:57 left. Ahearn answered with a three-pointer from the corner with the shot clock running down to extend MSU’s lead back to six, but Josten hit a three and McKowen scored on a layup to pull UNI within one, 58-57, with 2:27 on the clock.
After Ahearn missed a three, the Panthers had a chance to take the lead with just over a minute to go, but Travis Brown (Richfield, Minn.) missed a three-pointer from the corner. The Bears’ Tyler Chaney was fouled on the rebound, and he made two free throws. UNI’s Eric Coleman (Maplewood, Minn.) then made one of two foul shots to make the score 60-58 in favor of the Bears.
With just under a minute to go, Chaney missed a jumper, and Coleman grabbed the rebound, but he had the ball stolen by Dale Lamberth. After running the shot clock down, Ahearn was fouled with 24 seconds left and made one of two free throws, putting MSU up 61-58. Stout then missed a three-pointer from the left wing that would have tied the game, and Lamberth hit one of two free throws to seal the win.
Coleman had nine points and nine rebounds for UNI, while freshman Jordan Eglseder (Bellevue, Iowa) came off the bench to score six points and grab three rebounds.
UNI looks to snap its three-game losing streak on Tuesday (Feb. 13) as the Panthers travel to face Creighton. Tipoff time is 8:05 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
- UNI Media Relations -