STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
The UNI Panthers (10-7, 2-2 MVC) kept the Bulldogs (5-11, 0-4 MVC) winless in conference this season on Saturday in Cedar Falls. It was also Drake’s biggest loss of the season, 77-44, a 23-point deficit.
Drake took the lead in the first minute on a pair of made free throws from Reed Timmer, who would end up leading the Bulldogs with 10 points and a career high eight rebounds. That would be Drake’s only lead of the game.
Panther’s guard Matt Bohannon drained a three on the following possession to give his team a 3-2 advantage that they would not relinquish.
UNI extended their lead to as much as 22 in the first half as the Bulldogs’ offensive struggles were only matched by their poor showing on defense. Bohannon scored 18 of his season-high 21 points in the first half. He would finish the game 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, tie for the team-high with six rebounds and connected on seven of his 11 shot attempts.
The Panthers shot nearly 50 percent in the game. Drake shot only 35.6 from the field. The Bulldogs were beaten on the boards as well, losing that battle 28-34 as center Jacob Enevold Jensen only recorded a season-low two boards.
Still, Drake’s 16 turnovers are what probably spelled their demise, as UNI only turned the ball over six times.
The scoring margin was never less than 21 in the second half as the Panthers coasted to victory.
Some less-than-stellar performances over this now 4-game losing streak from redshirt junior Kale Abrahamson have hurt the Bulldogs’ chances. He’s scored a total of just 35 points during the slump.
Through seven games Abrahamson was averaging an impressive 19.1 points per game. But in the nine games since has averaged less than 12. Increased production from the 6-foot-8 forward could prove essential if Drake is to turn things around.
The Bulldogs will travel to Evansville on Tuesday in the hopes of securing their first win in the Missouri Valley Conference this season before returning for a pair of games against Southern Illinois and Missouri State next week.