Panthers Fall To West Virginia In Mexico
West Virginia rallied from a 15-point, second-half deficit to hand UNI its first loss of the season. The Mountaineers defeated the Panthers 60-55 in the semifinals of the Cancun Challenge in Mexico Tuesday night.
UNI (6-1) built a 42-27 advance on Isaiah Brown's 3-pointer with 10:51 remaining in the game, but made only two field goals the rest of the way. Brown finished with a team-high 15 points, the only player to tally double-figures for the Panthers.
After Brown's 3-pointer, West Virginia went on an 18-4 run. The Mountaineers (5-0) took a 51-50 advantage on a Miles McBride jumper with 2:45 left. Before that, their last lead was at 8-7 midway through first half.
McBride led the Mountaineers' rally coming off the bench. The freshman guard from Cincinnati scored 12 of his game-high 18 points during the comeback, one of two West Virginia players to tally double-figures.
UNI regained the lead, at 53-51, on Trae Berhow's 3-pointer from the corner 24 seconds later. Derek Culver sank two free throws to pull West Virginia even at 53-all. Justin Dahl's jumper with 1:27 left gave the Panthers a 55-53 lead, but UNI would go scoreless from there.
The biggest factor for UNI in the second half was foul trouble. Dahl, a reserve center, and starting forward Austin Phyfe both fouled out.
The Panthers led 23-20 at halftime.
After suffering its first loss of the season, UNI next plays South Carolina in the consolation game of the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday at 5 PM (Iowa time). The Gamecocks fell to Wichita State, 60-47, in the Tuesday's other semifinal.