NORMAL, Ill. - The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team was unable to snap Illinois State's 21-game home winning streak against Missouri Valley Conference opponents, dropping Friday evening's contest 84-68 at Redbird Arena. The Panthers held an eight-point lead in the first-half but could not match Illinois State's hot shooting over the final 30 minutes.
Senior guard K.K. Armstrong led the Panthers with 19 points, moving into 12th place on the UNI all-time career scoring leaderboard. At 1,101 points, Armstrong is the 12th woman in UNI history to score more than 1,100 points.
Three other Panthers scored in double figures, led by senior Rachel Madrigal with 15 points. Katelin Oney tallied 11 points and Amber Kirschbaum had 10.
Illinois State (13-9, 8-3 MVC) shot 47.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range for the game. The Redbirds' 84 points matched the highest total allowed by UNI this season. UNI hit 35.5 percent of its shots and was 8-of-22 from beyond the arc.
UNI (15-8, 8-4 MVC) posted a season-low eight turnovers, but Illinois State dominated on the glass with a 48-33 rebounding advantage.
Katie Broadway scored 24 points to lead Illinois State.
The Panthers jumped out to an 18-10 lead in the game's first eight minutes and again held an eight-point lead at 28-20 with 8:24 to play in the first half. The Redbirds put together a 15-5 run over the next five minutes to take a 35-33 lead.
A tip-in by Kirschbaum and a three-pointer by Armstrong put UNI up 38-37, but that was the last lead the Panthers would hold. Illinois State closed the half on a 7-0 run to lead 44-38 at the break.
Illinois State pushed its lead to 10 points at 51-41 four minutes into the second half, but UNI cut the deficit to five with a bucket from Jess McDowell and a three-pointer by Brittni Donaldson. Trailing 53-48 with 14:30 left in the game, UNI saw the Redbirds go on a 12-2 run to open up a 65-50 lead.
From that point, UNI was not able to get any closer than seven points. Illinois State closed the game with an 11-2 run to secure the victory.
Armstrong and Kirschbaum each grabbed seven rebounds to lead UNI. Madrigal added two blocks to run her league-leading total to 25 blocks in 12 league games.
UNI will return to action with a 1 p.m. contest at Indiana State on Sun., Feb. 12.