McDowell helps shoot Panthers past Evansville

EVANSVILLE – Northern Iowa junior Jess McDowell needed a big shooting night.

After losing her starting job midway through the season, the former AGWSR prep needed a big effort from behind the 3-point line and her 7-for-12 performance helped propel the Panthers to an easy 70-57 win over Evansville.

McDowell finished with a game-high 21 points, while senior Jacqui Kalin added 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Amber Kirschbaum also scored in double-figures with 13 and made it a double-double when she pulled down 17 rebounds.

The Panthers shot just 38 percent from the floor but the 12 3-pointers made was enough to blow past rival Evansville. UNI (13-14, 8-7) made seven more 3-pointers than Evansville in the win and also had a plus-four in free throw makes and a plus-two advantage in rebounding.

The win for the Panthers also was the 100th victory of UNI coach Tanya Warren.

The game was tied at 14 midway through the first half. The Panthers led 32-26 at the break and Kirschbaum grabbed 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

McDowell’s 3-pointer with 11:32 to go in the game put the Panthers up by double-digits. Her seventh triple of the game kept the lead at 10 with 3:23 to go in the contest. The seven 3-pointers tied a school record.

The 21 points scored for McDowell was a career-high. It was the third time the Panther junior has hit double-figures this year. Her effort helped UNI hold a 24-10 advantage in bench points.

Kalin’s 20 points came on 4-of-13 shooting and 2-for-6 from the long range. She is now fourth all-time at UNI with 69 triples made in a season. Kalin also was 10-of-10 from the line and moved into fifth all-time at UNI in free throws made in a season with 132.

Samantha Heck led Evansville (8-18, 6-9) with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Kat Taylor had 15 points and Megan Collins contributed 10.