The Lady Bears had another important Valley game this afternoon, but today was an unusual start for any basketball game.
Due to an equipment malfunction with the shot and game clock, the Lady Bears were charged with an administrative technical where Northern Iowa would shoot a free throw before the tip-off.
Offense and defense were both sound for the Lady Bears, ending the first quarter up 15-8 and pulling down 16 rebounds, with 12 being on the defensive end. Senior forward Abi Jackson led the first quarter charge with six points, two rebounds and a block.
After a typical Lady Bear first quarter, the energy shifted to UNI during the first few minutes of the second. The Lady Panthers had closed the deficit, were up two and held the Lady Bears scoreless for the first four minutes.
Senior guard Mya Bhinhar has been a rebounding machine for the Lady Bears this weekend. She pulled down nine boards against Drake on Friday and seven today against UNI.
After seven lead changes, the Lady Bears had fallen behind 29-28 at the half. In the second quarter, UNI had outscored the Lady Bears 21-13 and had pulled down 10 rebounds compared to the six Lady Bear layups.
Senior guard Sydney Wilson had three identical plays, all back to back, underhanded, heavily contested shots. The third time was a charm, hitting the basket and getting the foul for the 3-point play, which put the Lady Bears back up, 36-35.
The Lady Bears continued to battle against the Lady Panthers and were able to block four UNI baskets and finish the third quarter, up 45-43.
Getting back into a rhythm, the Lady Bears were able to gain a 14-point lead on UNI with less than four minutes left to play.
The Lady Bears were able to dig deep and finish out the game, winning 66-57. Wilson played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 18.
“Mox has implemented that role on me,” Wilson said. “I take it as a compliment. She believes in me, my teammates believe in me. It’s honestly a blessing.”
After last Friday's game, the Lady Bears had 23 turnovers. Head coach Amaka “Mox” Agugua-Hamilton said that their goal would be to cut down on turnovers and they did just that, only having eight during today's game.
“It’s just getting used to playing with one another again,” Mox said. “We’ll see more success on the court with that (less turnovers).”
Not only did today’s game give the Lady Bears another tally in the win column, it also put the Lady Bears in third in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“I am proud of our group,” Mox said. “That was a must-win game.”
The Lady Bears will be back in action at Illinois State, Friday, Feb. 18.
Follow Makayla Strickland on Twitter, m_strickland28.
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