U.N.I. now has a commanding lead in the Missouri Valley Conference race. The 24th ranked Panthers held off a late rally by Wichita State to claim a 59-56 win in Cedar Falls and they now lead the Valley race by three games with just six remaining.
U.N.I. coach Ben Jacobsen says Wichita State really played well and got the early lead. He says in the second half they had some chances to get seperation, but built enough of a lead to hang on. The Panthers improve to 11-1 in the Valley and avenged their only conference setback.
Jacobsen says it was a grind it out game, although there was a little more offense than the first game. Kwadzo Ahelegbe led the way with 18 points, including 15 in the second half as the Panthers improved to 20-2 on the season. Ahelegbe says he has been struggling a little bit and trying to hard to get back, but then decided just to take the shots when they were there.
U.N.I. hosts Southern Illinois on Saturday.