WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University erased a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to force two overtime periods before Northern Iowa came away with a 93-91 win Sunday night in Charles Koch Arena.
UNI’s Megan Maahs’ layup with three seconds remaining in the second overtime lifted the Panthers in an all-time great battle between two programs with a lot of history. Wichita State (3-1) ends up in the losing column for the first time this season and gives UNI six straight wins in the series.
Asia Strong scored 20 of her season and game-high 22 points after halftime, while also pulling down a season-high 13 rebounds. It is her first career double-double. As much as Strong dominated the second half, it was all Trajata Colbert in the first half. Colbert recorded 14 of her career-high 21 points in the first 20 minutes. She finished 9-for-14 from the field to go with five rebounds.
Rachel Johnson also set a new season-best with 17 points – 12 after halftime – on 6-of-8 shooting. Seraphine Bastin added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Wichita State finished the game shooting 45 percent from the field, and only attempted nine three-pointers. To offset 25 turnovers, the Shockers went 20-for-27 at the free-throw line and outrebounded UNI, 48-34.
UNI shot just under 50 percent from the field while knocking down 10-of-31 attempts from beyond the arc.
Bre Gunnels led five Panthers in double figures with 18 points.
Wichita State started out slow, as they missed their first three shots and had four turnovers. Their first points didn’t come until the 6:48 mark on a pair of DJ McCarty free throws. UNI held a 10-4 lead at the midway point.
A 6-0 run tied the game at 10 behind a couple of offensive rebound putbacks for Colbert. Colbert continued to dominate the offensive glass, grabbing three offensive rebounds and scoring six points off those rebounds.
Rachel Johnson’s three-pointer as time expired made it 19-17 UNI after 10 minutes. Colbert and Johnson scored 11 of the team’s 17 points in the opening quarter, while the five starters were just 2-for-10 from the field.
Colbert’s stellar half carried over to the start of the second quarter where she scored the first six points and gave the Shockers their first lead, 23-21. UNI briefly regained the lead until Carla Bremaud answered with a three-pointer to make it 26-24 and 4:51 left in the half.
The offense stalled for more than three minutes, allowing the Panthers to retake the lead, 36-31 with 1:15 to go. Two McCully free throws before the end of the half made it 36-33.
Colbert finished the half 7-of-10 from the field for a game-high 14 points. The rest of her team was a combined 5-of-20 from the floor. Wichita State finished the half at 40 percent from the field to go with 13 turnovers.
UNI was just 3-of-14 from beyond the arc, but still managed to shoot 45 percent overall.
The Panthers began the third quarter on a 9-4 run to take their largest lead to that point, 45-37. The Shockers missed four of the first five attempts and committed five turnovers during a scoreless streak of 2:52.
UNI’s lead grew to 16 after the Panthers caught fire from outside. They would take a 67-51 lead into the final period. UNI outscored Wichita State 31-18 in the third quarter to blow it open.
Wichita State would not go quietly. An 8-0 run forced a UNI timeout with 5:28 remaining and the lead down to eight, 73-65. Johnson and Strong scored 10 of the first 14 points to begin the period.
The trio of Strong, Johnson and Bastin would lead Wichita State’s fourth quarter rally all the way back to tie the game, sending it to overtime tied at 78.
Strong would score the opening basket of overtime, giving Wichita State its first lead since the 2:23 mark of the second quarter. UNI answered with five straight to go back on top by three with 3:06 left in the extra period.
Bastin would have the opportunity to win it at the free throw line with 15 seconds remaining, but would only make 1-of-2 to tie the game at 85.
In the second overtime, Strong put the Shockers on the board first with a turnaround jumper. After a UNI three, Bastin came right back to put WSU ahead 89-88 with 3:00 to go. UNI went back in front following a free throw and Maahs jump shot with 1:20 remaining. Bastin again came up big with two clutch free throws to tie the game at 91 and only 24 seconds left.
Following a timeout, UNI ran the clock all the way down and executed with an easy layup to secure the win. DJ McCarty’s halfcourt heave as time expired clanked off the backboard.
Non-Conference play wraps up with a home contest against South Dakota on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. on ESPN+. The Shockers then open American Athletic Conference play on the road at Tulsa on Dec. 16.