Iowa Claims 20th Straight Home Victory Over Panthers

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Greg Brunner scored 23 points and No. 17 Iowa held off a late rally to beat Northern Iowa 76-73 on Tuesday night.

The Hawkeyes (7-1) led by 13 points with more than seven minutes left in the game, but then struggled as the Panthers pulled within a point in the final minute.

The Panthers (3-2) had a chance to take the lead, but Ben Jacobson, who led all scorers with 25 points, missed a 15-footer with six seconds left.

Jeff Horner grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit both free throws to give the Hawkeyes their final margin of victory. Chris Foster’s desperation shot, launched near midcourt just missed, sealing Iowa’s 20th straight home victory over the Panthers.

Brunner helped the Hawkeyes take control midway through the second-half, scoring 12 points in a 3:22 span.

Horner added 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Erek Hansen and Pierre Pierce each had 14 points to propel Iowa to its fourth straight win.

Jacobson hit 10-of-16 shots, including 3-of-4 from 3-poinr range.

Freshman center Eric Coleman had 16 points and a game-leading 11 rebounds, and Grant Stout added 15 points.

The Hawkeyes shut down the Panthers’ leading scorer, Erek Crawford, most of the game. But his three 3-pointers in the final minutes helped Northern Iowa crawl back into the game, including a long trey that pulled the Panthers within three with 34.3 seconds to go.

The victory helped the Hawkeyes avenge last year’s loss at Northern Iowa.

Both teams shot well, with each finishing at 52.6 percent from the field. But the Hawkeyes shot 55 percent from 3-point range compared to 40 percent for Northern Iowa.