CARBONDALE, Ill. - Former AGWSR prep Jessica McDowell is starting to get her shot back. The Northern Iowa Panther junior made six more 3-pointers on Sunday and her 22 points led the Panthers to a season sweep of rival Southern Illinois.
McDowell led four Panthers in double-figures and helped Northern Iowa hold a 27-14 advantage in bench points during a 74-60 win over the Salukis.
The Panthers (14-14, 9-7) also had a 26-12 advantage in points off turnovers as led by as many as 15 points in the win.
Hannah Schonhardt scored in double figures for the fourth time in six games with her 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacqui Kalin added 15 points, eight assists and was 8-for-8 from the line. Jen Keitel finished with 10 points and nine boards.
UNI went on a 10-2 run with McDowell knocking down two 3-pointers to make the score 16-13. SIU's Cartaesha Macklin was able to convert on a quick layup to end the UNI run, but McDowell hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to notch her second double-figure game this weekend and made it 30-27.
The Panthers led by four at the break but outscored the Salukis (4-23, 1-15) 38-28 in the second half.
Kirschbaum opened the second half, scoring the Panthers' first three points, making the score 39-36 with 15:57 left in the game. UNI extended their lead to 44-39 after Jen Keitel snuck behind the SIU defense for an easy layup.
McDowell nailed her fifth 3-pointer of the game with less than 12 minutes to play, making the score 47-41.
Schonhardt came up with a big offensive rebound and putback to make it 62-54 with less than five minutes left. The Salukis were unable to close the gap and the Panthers pulled away for the double-digit victory.
Kalin moved into third all-time in Northern Iowa history with 540 points this season. She also moved into third all-time in free throws made with 140.
The Panthers close out the regular season with two home games this week. Northern Iowa will play Indiana State at 7 p.m. Thursday and then will host Illinois State at 2 p.m. Saturday.