UNI Women’s basketball Sails to 82-60 win over Tulane

CANCUN, Mexico – The Panthers stormed out to an early lead on Thanksgiving and didn’t let go in their 82-60 win over the Tulane Green Wave.

Senior guard Cam Finley hit the 1,000-point mark while UNI had their best game of the season outside the arc with 14 threes. Five Panthers reached double-figures on Thursday evening while center Cynthia Wolf tied her career record in rebounds at 13.

“I thought it was a great team win against a very good Veteran team,” said Head Coach Tanya Warren of the game. “I thought we defended extremely well and our offense was in a really good rhythm. They went to a zone a little 2-1-2 press and we panicked a little bit. But what I really loved about our team was that we answered.

“We didn’t panic, I thought we answered them. Went on a little bit of a run and that allowed us to stretch the game. But we had 19 assists, I thought we did a terrific job of sharing the ball. And what I absolutely loved is that team came into this game as a plus-10 on the glass. And we outrebounded them. It was a great, tough, gritty win for this team.”

UNI started the game hot, jumping out to a 7-0 run started by a Cam Finley three-pointer. The Panthers would trade baskets for a moment but went on another quick run midway through the first quarter. UNI sank two more buckets in the final two minutes for a 21-10 lead after ten minutes.

The second quarter would start in a very similar fashion as Finley made her second Trey of the night. Tulane would get in an and-1 following the three, with the Panthers responding by going on their best run of the half. UNI scored eight points over two minutes Midway through the quarter, pulling away for a 32-13 lead.

The Wave picked up the pace following the run, cutting the Panthers lead down to 12 with a five-point run around the minute-and-a-half mark. But guard Maya McDermott sunk a three-pointer from the top of the key pushing UNI out to a 39-26 lead going into halftime.

The Panthers had a slow start to the second half, not getting their first bucket until almost two minutes into the quarter. During the first two minutes, Tulane had a 7-0 run to bring them within six and were able to get within three after the first timeout. But a five-point run highlighted by a McDermott three put UNI up back to eight. The Panthers ended the third with a 10-3 run to go back up by double digits.

UNI found their three-point shooting in the fourth quarter after adding four treys in the final four minutes of the third. The Panthers were 66.7% from behind the arc in the final 10 minutes with guard Kayba Laube leading the way with two treys.

Guard Emerson Green opened the fourth with a three-pointer. The Wave answered with free throws and a layup, but it was all UNI for the final seven minutes. The Panthers made five treys in four minutes, giving UNI a 26-point lead with three minutes left. The Panthers ended the game with an 82-60 win after resting their starters for the final two minutes.

UNI went 33-72 (45.8%) from the floor, 14-37 (37.8%) from three-point range, and 2-4 (50%) from the free throw line. Along with a strong Offensive outing, the Panthers dominated on defense grabbing 49 rebounds. UNI came just five defensive rebounds shy of tying their single-game record from 2003.

McDermott led all UNI players with 20 points on Thursday night. Also in double figures against the Wave were Finley (15), forward Grace Boffeli (14), Laube (12), and Green (11). Center Cynthia Wolf led the Panthers in rebounds with 13 while Boffeli came two shy of a double-double with eight.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Panthers as they play the Vanderbilt Commodores on Day 2 of the Cancun Challenge. The Commodores lost their first game of the tournament to No. 13 NC State Wolfpack earlier on Thursday. Friday’s game is set for 5:30 pm CT and will be broadcast on FloHoops.

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