LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Senior Rachel Madrigal tied her career-high with 18 points and junior Amber Kirschbaum pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds as the University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team defeated Wyoming, 60-46, on Friday evening at the LMU Thanksgiving Classic in Gersten Pavilion.
With the win over Wyoming, UNI advances to the 5:15 p.m. (CT) championship game on Saturday against Youngstown State. YSU (3-2) topped Loyola Marymount, 64-50, in the tournament opener.
UNI (3-1) got off to a hot start against the Cowgirls, opening up a 22-6 lead and draining its first six attempts from beyond the arc. The Panthers led by as many as 17 points in the first half on their way to a 40-26 halftime lead.
Wyoming (1-3) was not able to trim its deficit to any less than 10 points the rest of the way, and the Panthers held the Cowgirls to 19-of-48 shooting (39.6 percent) in the victory.
Madrigal was 7-of-10 on field goals and 4-of-7 on three-pointers to tie her career-high with 18 points. Kirschbaum posted 12 points and 15 boards for her third career double-double.
UNI shot 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) from the field and 9-of-25 (36 percent) from beyond the arc. The Panthers held a slight edge in rebounds at 33-30.
With a 3-1 record, the Panthers have matched their start from the 2010-11 season. A win on Saturday would give UNI its best start since 2005.