CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Senior K.K. Armstrong scored 17 points and recorded her first career double-double on her way to passing the 1,000-point mark for her career, but the University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team fell 68-62 against Indiana State on Thursday evening in the McLeod Center.
Armstrong notched career points No. 1,000 and 1,001 on a fast break jumper that pulled UNI to within three at 65-62 with 53 seconds remaining in the game. Indiana State got two defensive stops and drained three free throws to hold on for the victory.
Indiana State (10-6, 4-0 MVC) pulled into a tie with Wichita State for the Missouri Valley Conference lead with the win. The Sycamores were led by senior center Shannon Thomas, who scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Indiana State shot 25-of-54 (46.3 percent) for the game, outpacing the Panthers' 22-of-60 (36.7 percent) shooting effort.
Armstrong recorded 10 rebounds and five assists to go along with her 17 points. Senior Rachel Madrigal added 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, eight rebounds, and a career-high five blocks. Senior Katelin Oney made three three-pointers on her way to 14 points.
For the first time this season, UNI lost a game in which it out-rebounded its opponent. The Panthers posted a 39-36 advantage on the glass against the Sycamores.
Indiana State opened the game with a 7-2 run and led by as many as nine points at 13-4, but UNI rallied back to tie the contest at 22-22 on an Oney three-pointer with 6:20 left before halftime. With the game tied at 24-24, the Sycamores put together a 9-1 run over the final four minutes of the half. Jessica Valley drained a three-pointer with nine seconds on the clock to set the halftime margin at 33-25.
The Panthers shot just 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from the field in the first 20 minutes, while Indiana State made 13-of-29 attempts (44.8 percent).
UNI fell behind by as many as 16 points in the second half. With Indiana State leading 50-34 with 9:32 left in the game, UNI mounted a charge by outscoring the Sycamores 26-13 over the next eight and a half minutes. A three-pointer by Madrigal with 1:19 left pulled the Panthers to within three at 63-60. UNI and Indiana State traded buckets from Thomas and Armstrong to make it 65-62 with 53 seconds remaining.
The Panthers had a shot to tie after forcing a Sycamore turnover with 45 seconds left, but Oney's three-point attempt was no good and Indiana State locked up the win with three free throws.
UNI (10-6, 3-2 MVC) hosts Illinois State on Sat., Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. in the McLeod Center.
NOTES: K.K. Armstrong entered the game with 984 career points and scored 17 to join the 1,000-point club ... Armstrong is the 21st player in UNI history to score more than 1,000 points ... Armstrong reached 1,000 points with only 29 career starts - the previous low was 64 starts ... UNI has now won 17 of its last 20 games played in the McLeod Center ... Oney is now eighth all-time at UNI with 117 three-pointers in her career ... Armstrong also moved into eighth on the UNI career list with 296 assists ... with five blocks tonight to get to 63 in her career, Rachel Madrigal jumped into ninth place on the UNI all-time list.