UNI women rally for big road victory

DEKALB, Ill. – The Panthers played from behind much of Saturday.

Brittni Donaldson put them in front when it mattered most.

Donaldson streaked through the lane for a layup in the final two seconds to lift the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team to a 66-64 win over Northern Illinois in non-conference play at the Convocation Center.

Hannah Schonhardt scored a career-high 24 points and knotted the score at 62 with her third 3-pointer of the contest with 2:05 remaining. Stephanie Davis gave the Panthers (4-7) their first lead of the game at 64-62 with 30 seconds to play. The Huskies (4-5) tied it up six seconds later, before Donaldson scored out of a timeout to secure the win.

Schonhardt tallied seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks for UNI, while shooting 9-of-12 from the field. Davison added 11 points, Jen Keitel scored nine and Donaldson finished with eight points (all in the second half) and six assists.

UNI made just 10-of-29 field goal attempts (34.5 percent) in the first half and didn’t hit their second field goal until Moran Lonning’s 3-pointer at the 12:48 mark. Northern Illinois led 30-19 late in the half before Schonhardt scored six straight to close the halftime deficit to 32-25.

Donaldson, making her first start of the season, sparked the Panthers in the second half to pull within 34-31 and Keitel cut it to 38-36 on a jumper with 14:23 to play.

Northern Illinois stretched its lead back to 50-39 with a 10-1 run, before Davison’s triple narrowed the deficit to 60-56 at the 4:49 mark and helped set up UNI’s strong finish.

Amanda Corral led the Huskies with 18 points, while Jazmine Harris had 15. Danny Pulliam contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Northern Illinois was consistently accurate from the field (27-of-56) and had a 42-22 advantage on points in the paint, though UNI made nine more 3-pointers to counter.

The Panthers open the Missouri Valley Conference slate against Indiana State on the road Jan. 3 at 6 p.m.