Anderson Career High Leads UNI to Second-Straight Win
Behind a career-high in scoring from forward Tytan Anderson and his Missouri Valley Conference-leading fifth double-double, UNI (5-7, 1-1) heads into Christmas break with a victory defeating St. Bonaventure (6-7), 62-52.
The first minute and a half made it look like we were in for a barn burner. The Panthers and Bonnies started a combined 4-4 from three, making it 6-6 in less than two minutes.
With a few free throws and backdoor cuts for UNI and open jump shots by St. Bonaventure, the offenses kept a decent pace for the next eight and a half minutes.
"Once we switched to our flow offense, it mixed things up." Bowen Born said postgame. "There are a million possibilities that you can do out of flow. That really helped us open it up for some wide-open layups."
Following the ten-minute mark, things slowed down pretty drastically. Over that stretch, both teams shot a combined 9-27 from the field and scored 11 points each. The Bonnies went scoreless between 7:38 and 40 seconds before the half. Between those moments in the game, Anderson scored seven straight to give him 12 points in the first frame.
The sterility of the two offenses took the game to halftime with a score of 28-22, advantage Panthers.
The forward kept things rolling into the second half, adding another seven points in the first three and a half minutes to tie his career-high of 19 points and give UNI a 37-31 lead.
"Tytan had a great start to the second half," Coach Jacobson said. "The start of the half was all set plays (for him). ... He just moved a little too well for (the Bonnies' center Chad Venning)."
Then the Eldrige, Iowa native went quiet, and the Bonnies got back in it.
With Anderson neutralized for the time being, St. Bonaventure went on a run of their own, getting the score back within one, at 37-36. With 13:36 to go, Coach Jacobson called a timeout to right the ship.
"It felt like we were going to maybe start to get away," Coach Jacobson said. "Then they had a good run of 7-8 possessions where they took the momentum."
"They ran a ton of sets, and it's difficult to guard," Born said. "You've always got to be locked in. You've always got to be ready to guard, and you've always got to be ready for them to come off some screens. ... Those are the moments (we're reminded) of what we worked on in practice, and we need to execute and get it done."
Even with the reminder of the defensive plan, the Bonnies kept the game within two possessions for the ensuing nine minutes,
Then the duo of Anderson and redshirt freshman Michael Duax came together to close out the victory. With 5:54 remaining, those two put together 12 of the Panthers' final 14 points and thwarted any last-ditch efforts by the Bonnies to get back into the game.
"The guys made the plays and grabbed ahold of the game," Coach Jacobson said. "(This was) another step forward."
Anderson led all scorers with a career-high of 25 points and added ten boards for the double-double. Born added 14 for the Panthers. Venning and Kyrell Luc each put up 12 for the Bonnies.
"It's definitely a good feeling to close out some nonconference games," Born said. "After a slow start, to be able to close it out with two wins against some pretty good teams, it's definitely really good."
Next up, UNI will restart conference play against Missouri State (5-7, 1-1) on Wednesday, December 28 in the McLeod Center at 7 PM.