Cedar Falls, Iowa – Kyle Wilson scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Wichita State to a 67-61 win over the University of Northern Iowa Tuesday night in the McLeod Center. WSU improved to 15-8 overall, 6-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while UNI dropped its third straight game and fell to 15-7, 6-5 in the Valley.
UNI’s powerful inside duo of Grant Stout (New Sharon, Iowa) and Eric Coleman (Maplewood, Minn.) each posted a double-double, and brought the Panthers from way back to nearly earn the win. Stout had 22 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Coleman scored 19 points and grabbed 10 boards.
Wichita State jumped out to a 12-2 lead to start the game, as UNI missed eight of its first nine shots from the floor. UNI point guard Brooks McKowen (Fairbank, Iowa) scored five points during a 9-2 run that pulled the Panthers within 14-11, but WSU quickly extended its advantage back to 22-13.
A Jared Josten (Webster City, Iowa) three-pointer pulled the Panthers back within 22-18 with 7:32 left, but WSU went on a 13-1 run to open it largest lead of the game, 35-19, with just under three minutes left. The Shockers held a 41-26 lead at halftime, after hitting 52 percent of their field goals in the first 20 minutes, including 7-for-11 from three-point range. Conversely, UNI managed just 29 percent shooting in the first half, 2-for-13 on treys.
The Shockers maintained a double-digit lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half, before the Panthers came roaring back. Trailing 55-42 with 9:38 left in the game, Stout and Coleman combined for eight of the team’s next 10 points, and the Panthers pulled as close as three, 57-54, with 3:51 remaining, after a pair of Josten free throws.
On the next possession, UNI forced a WSU miss and Stout was fouled, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity. WSU’s Wilson then hit one of two free throws, and after UNI missed two threes that would have pulled it within one, Wilson nailed a trey from the right wing that put the Shockers up 61-54 with just over a minute to play. Wichita State hit all six of its free throws in the final minute to seal the 67-61 win.
Josten added 13 points for the Panthers, while McKowen had a game-high nine assists. UNI turned the ball over a season-low six times, but shot a season-worst 36.1 percent from the floor, including 6-for-26 from three-point range. WSU finished with 47 percent field goal shooting, and was 9-of-15 from behind the arc.
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