SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- University of Northern Iowa seniors Katelin Oney and K.K. Armstrong scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, but the Panthers came up on the short end of a road MVC contest at Missouri State on Thursday evening, 80-68.
UNI (16-12, 9-8 MVC) mounted a comeback in the second half to close to within three points, but the Lady Bears were able to hold off the Panthers and lock up an outright Missouri Valley Conference championship.
Missouri State (21-6, 14-3) shot 43.8 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three-point range to extend its winning streak to 11 games. Jaleshia Roberson drained six three-pointers on her way to 22 points to lead MSU.
The Panthers attempted a season-high 36 three-pointers, making 10. Oney connected on five treys, while Armstrong and Brittni Donaldson each made two. Junior Amber Kirschbaum led UNI with 10 rebounds.
UNI poured in 14 points in the game's first four minutes to open up a 14-8 lead, as Rachel Madrigal tallied six points in the first three minutes. With UNI up 16-14, the Lady Bears used an 8-0 run to take a 22-16 lead they would hold for the rest of the half. Jaleshia Roberson connected for four three-pointers in opening 13 minutes before committing her second personal foul. MSU led 46-40 at halftime.
Armstrong scored 16 points in the opening half, including nine straight points in one stretch.
UNI cut its deficit to three points at 58-55 with 10:55 left in the game, but was unable to tie it up or take a lead. MSU scored 12 straight points to take a 70-55 lead and held on for the victory.
UNI will wrap up the regular season with a 2:05 p.m. contest at Wichita State on Sat., March 3.