The U.N.I. Panthers avenged a January lost at Bradley Wednesday night, beating the Braves 64-55 in their regular-season home finale at the McLeod Center. Before the game, they honored Johnny Moran, U.N.I.’s lone senior.
Coach Ben Jacobson said he’s not sure if he can qualify or quantify Moran’s value because he plays so well. Jacobson said you can only find out how much the “intangibles” Moran brought to the team meant after he is no longer playing for them.
Moran entered Wednesday’s game needing just one point to become the 34th member of UNI’s 1,000-point club. The Algonquin, Illinois-native reached the milestone on a three-pointer four minutes into the game and finished the night with 12 points.
After the game, Moran said the thought of playing his final home game hadn’t sunk in yet. “Not quite, I’m sure it will maybe tonight or tomorrow, and it’s going to be pretty tough dealing with that. I just thankful for all the four years I’ve had here. It’s been great,” Moran said.
Moran, a four-year starter for the Panthers, feels the team has what it takes to challenge for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship. He says the team doesn’t quit and has been playing good basketball lately.
In his four years, Moran has helped U.N.I. to a mark of 91-42 that includes two MVC regular season titles and two MVC tournament championships. Moran’s MVC record of the past four years is 46-24 heading into Wednesday’s game vs. Bradley.
Moran has started a school-record 131 games and has seen action all but two of a possible 133 games in his UNI career.
By Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein