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Courtesy: ISU Athletics
UNI Snaps Indiana State’s Home Winning Streak, 54-52
Courtesy:ISU Athletics
Danny Pfrank

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The visiting Northern Iowa Panthers gave the Indiana State women's basketball team their first loss inside Hulman Center this season as UNI's Jen Keitel grabbed an offensive rebound and banked in a hook shot in the paint to give the Panthers a 54-52 Missouri Valley Conference victory on Sunday afternoon.

The loss snaps an eight-game home-court winning streak for the Sycamores, dating back to last season's victory over Wichita State on Senior Day.

After the lead exchanged hands four times in the opening three and a half minutes of action, Northern Iowa (6-8, 1-1 MVC) used an 11-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 17-9 lead with 10:46 left in the opening half. Indiana State (9-4, 1-1 MVC) never got closer than four points for the remainder of the half, as the Panthers took a 10-point lead, at 30-20, into the locker room.

UNI's Jacqui Kalin led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, as the Panthers shot 12-for-24 (50%) from the field. Indiana State struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes, going 6-for-23 (26.1%). Senior Taylor Whitley led the Sycamores with five points, all coming at the free-throw line.

Indiana State came out strong from the halftime break, as sophomore Jessica Valley capped a 16-4 run with a three-pointer and gave the Sycamores a 36-34 lead with 11:47 remaining.

The Sycamores built a three-point lead on two separate occasions, on a pair of free throws by Valley with 9:34 remaining (42-39) and on a jumper by Munn with 7:42 to go (44-41).

Kalin and junior Anna Munn, the top two leading scorers in the MVC entering the game, traded three-pointers at 4:41 and 4:23, respectively, as the Panthers held a 49-48 advantage following Munn's trey. Both sides went scoreless for the next two and half minutes, before sophomore Racheal Mahan gave ISU a 50-49 lead with 1:52 remaining on a jumper in the paint.

UNI regained the lead on a triple by Brooke Brown as the game went under one minute remaining, but Whitley knotted the game at 52-52 on a pair of free throws with 28.7 seconds on the clock.

Kalin missed a long three-pointer from the left wing with five seconds remaining, but Keitel grabbed the offensive rebound over Valley and banked in a shot in the paint with 1.6 seconds left to give the Panthers the road victory. The basket was the only of the game for the 6-foot-3 Keitel, who added 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Mahan posted her fifth double-double of the season, going for 11 points and 12 rebounds. Whitley led ISU with 12 points and Munn added 10 while playing all 40 minutes for the third consecutive game. Valley scored a career-high nine points with five steals, four rebounds and three assists.

Kalin led all scorers with 21 points, including a 5-for-9 effort from long range.

Indiana State hits the road for the first time in MVC play next weekend, traveling to Drake (5-8, 0-2 MVC) on Friday, Jan. 11, and Creighton (10-3, 2-0 MVC) on Sunday, Jan. 13.

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