The University of Northern Iowa women’s basketball team (19-14) had its WNIT run cut short on Thursday night, after visiting Milwaukee (21-11) shot a program-record 69.4% from the floor to score an 81-67 victory.
The visiting Panthers shot a record 34-of-49 on the night, while knocking in 10-of-18 3-pointers. UNI was held to 36.4% from the floor, while making 9-of-29 shots from behind-the-arc.
The sophomore duo of Rose Simon-Ressler and Megan Maahs led UNI in scoring, after earning 15 and 14 points respectively. Milwaukee was paced by Jamie Reit who scored a game-high 21 points after making five 3-pointers on Thursday.
The two Panther squads were evenly matched early on Thursday, with the score knotted up at 12-12 midway through the first quarter. Milwaukee posted a 9-2 run to gain control of the contest and put UNI on its heels, until Simon-Ressler cut into the deficit at the buzzer with a basket to make it 21-16.
UNI closed the gap to just a bucket following a Maahs score underneath, but Milwaukee would push its lead to 12 to close out the half after shooting a blistering 9-of-10 from the floor.
The hot shooting continued into the second half for Milwaukee, after a Bailey Farley 3-pointer swelled the lead to 16 at the 8:53 mark. UNI would fight back however, as the homestanding Panthers cut the deficit in half thanks in part to a seven-point spurt from Simon-Ressler. A jumper from Reit before the close of the third quarter brought Milwaukee’s lead back to double digits as the visiting Panthers held a 63-53 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Simon-Ressler’s jumper to open the fourth quarter trimmed the Milwaukee lead back to single-digits once again, but the visiting Panthers countered with a 7-2 run. Despite a great effort all night on both ends of the floor, UNI couldn’t overcome Milwaukee’s hot shooting as the visiting Panthers closed out the contest to win 81-67.