Five players scored in double figures as Northern Iowa remained unbeaten with a 73-53 Cancun Challenge victory over Morgan State on Thursday night in the Cancun Challenge at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Guards Deon Mitchell and Paul Jesperson each scored 13 points for the Panthers (3-0). Forward Seth Tuttle and guard Wes Washpun had 12 apiece and guard Jeremy Morgan added 11.
Guard Blake Bozeman scored a game-high 19 points to lead Morgan State (0-3).
Bears guard Donte Pretlow hit a layup with two seconds left in the first half to give Morgan State a 30-29 halftime lead. Bozeman scored 15 points in the first 20 minutes.
But Morgan hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and launched a 13-4 Northern Iowa run for a 42-34 lead. Morgan State surged back to within three points at 44-31 with 12:48 left, but almost five minutes later the Panthers pushed the lead into double digits.
The Bears shot just 33.9 percent from the field (21 of 62) and missed 17 3-point tries. The Panthers were an efficient 21 of 38 from the floor for 55.3 percent.
The Cancun Challenge continues Saturday as Northern Iowa hosts North Florida. Morgan State is at Houston.
Both teams move on to Cancun, Mexico, for games next week.
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