A key component for the UNI women’s basketball team’s strong start has been the play of junior center Cassie Hager. The Perry native has helped the Panthers get off to a 10-6 start and a 4-1 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. Hager is averaging 12-points, 6-rebounds, and three-and-a-half block shots a game. Hager set a school record with 8-blocks Sunday against Evansville and has already broken the UNI single season record for block shots with 67. She’s only 8-rejections away from breaking the schools all-time record, which has been held for over 20-years. UNI coach Tony DiCecco felt Hager gained confidence with a strong finish at the end of last season after they upset Creighton in the conference tournament. He says that’s when Hager started to believe this was something she could do. DiCecco was pleased with the way Hager prepared for this season. He says she was in the weight room all summer and played in leagues and played with a lot of confidence.The Panthers will play their first home game in almost three weeks when they host Indiana State on Friday.
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