Indiana State (17-11 overall and 9-8 in the Valley) was just 14-of-48 from the field for the game (29.2 percent) and missed all five of their attempts from three point range, the first time that has happened since March 1, 2000 against the Evansville Purple Aces, stopping a streak of 392 games with at least one three point basket.
Natasha Zurek tied her career high with 13 points to lead the Sycamores while Rachael Mahan and Taylor Whitley had 10 each. They were the only Indiana State players in double figures. Whitley did have three steals in the game to give her 230 for her career and move her past Amy Hile for sixth on the ISU all-time list. Mahan had two offensive boards to give her 92 on the season and tied with Georgia Bottoms for second on the single season list, just two back of record holder Kristen Stewart with one game left.
While the Sycamores were cold from the field, Northern Iowa was hot. The Panthers finished hitting 27-of-49 from the field (55.1 percent) including 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from three point range. Northern Iowa outrebounded the Sycamores 37-31.
Jacqui Kalin did the most damage for Northern Iowa (15-14 overall and 10-7 in the Valley) with 29 points. She was 9-of-13 from the field including 3-of-4 from long distance, and a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe. Amber Kirschbaum added 10 points.
The Sycamores started out slow, missing their first five shots but finally caught fire midway through the opening period. An old-fashioned three-point play from Rachael Mahan with 8:48 left tied the game for the first time at 12. The Panthers regained the lead temporarily ahead of a bucket by Travecia Franklin that tied the game at 14 with 8:09 remaining.
Four free throws from Taylor Whitley and a Natasha Zurek bucket put ISU up 20-14 and the Sycamores maintained the advantage after a Mahan put back with 4:35 left that forced UNI to call a time out as Indiana State led 23-16. However, the Sycamores could only score four more the rest of the half and UNI closed the opening stanza with an 8-0 run as Indiana State led 27-26 at the intermission.
The second half started much the same as the opening period for Indiana State as they continued to struggle from the field. Northern Iowa scored the first bucket of the period and quickly moved to a six point lead and never looked back.
Indiana State will close out the weekend road trip on Saturday when they visit the Bradley Braves in a 3 p.m. (ET) contest in Peoria, Ill. The Braves beat the Illinois State Redbirds 71-69 on a last second shot Thursday.