Northern Iowa is in the midst of a disappointing season, but the Panthers know how to score.
Loyola (Chicago) found that out the hard way Wednesday night at McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa, as the Panthers made 58.7 percent of their field-goal attempts en route to an 80-58 Missouri Valley Conference victory.
Reserve forward Nate Buss led five players in double figures for the Panthers (12-13, 6-7 MVC) with a game-high 18 points and six rebounds. Guard Matt Bohannon and forward Marvin Singleton each added 12 points for Northern Iowa. Guard Deon Mitchell contributed 11, and forward Seth Tuttle scored 10 points, all after halftime.
Northern Iowa, which entered the contest averaging more than 74 points per game, its highest figure in several years, snapped a three-game losing streak with a dominant effort. It sank 12 of 26 3-pointers and won the rebounding battle 34-24.
Guard Devon Turk led the Ramblers (9-16, 4-9) with 10 points. He nailed three 3-pointers in the first five minutes as Loyola established a 15-11 lead, but he was not a factor for the remainder of the game.
The Panthers led 35-27 at halftime after finishing the first half with a 15-5 spurt. They held the Ramblers without a field goal over the final 3:20.
Northern Iowa needed less than seven minutes of the second half to open up a 20-point lead, getting a layup from Mitchell to make it 53-33 at the 13:10 mark. The margin never fell below 20 after that.
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