Panther women hold off North Dakota

CEDAR FALLS – Jen Keitel’s 14 points and eight rebounds led the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team Tuesday night and Stephanie Davison pushed the Panthers over the top as her four free throws inside 30 seconds to play helped the home team claim a 61-56 win over North Dakota at the McLeod Center.

Davison finished with 11 points in the game as the Panthers grabbed their first lead of the contest with 14:22 to play and used an 11-0 spurt to stay in front.

North Dakota though didn’t go away quietly as the back-and-forth game wasn’t decided until the final minute.

North Dakota led 52-49 with 8:49 on the clock but a short jumper in the lane by Keitel evened the score at 52-all. Keitel then scored seven points in a 2-minute span, capped by her second 3-pointer of the night as the Panthers led 57-56 with 1:46 on the clock.

Davison’s four freebies at the charity stripe with less than 30 minutes to play in the game eventually sealed the win for the Panthers (1-1). The sophomore added seven rebounds to go with her 11 points.

Northern Iowa trailed 33-24 at halftime after getting down 6-0 to start the game. North Dakota led by as many as nine in the first half, while the Panthers biggest lead was six points in the second session.

Hannah Schonhardt collected a career-high four steals and eight points in the win, while Keitel’s 14 points was a game high. Brooke Brown also had nine points as the Panthers won the game despite shooting just 31 percent from the floor. UNI was just 7-of-24 from 3-point range.

Mia Loyd had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead North Dakota (0-2), while Allyssa Wall had nine points and 10 rebounds and Madi Buck finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

North Dakota won the rebounding battle 46-41 but couldn’t overcome 22 turnovers and 3-of-12 shooting from long range. Northern Iowa only turned it over 10 times in the win.