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UNI v VA Tech Recap: Panthers Blow Out Hokies 73-54 in Cancun

Northern Iowa takes command against Virginia Tech as they continue to build a solid résumé at 5-0 in early nonconference play.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Just looking at the box score on any given UNI game won't give the impression that a particular Panther is the team leader. After all, the beginning of Northern Iowa's season has been characterized by a balanced offense that allows each player to make their mark.

Seth Tuttle does, however, continue to impress as the team's go to scorer, defender, and leader. The senior forward has mastered the art of the unselfish play at the sacrifice of his own stat line, but to the benefit of his team's ability to finish plays. Tuttle repeatedly put himself in a position where he could have scored himself, but opted to pass it out to execute a better scoring play.

Tuttle's final line was 11 points with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and his team's lone block.

The Panthers led from the beginning and were never threatened with a comeback, leading throughout the first half to enter the game's midpoint up 9 points. With only 4 minutes elapsed in the second half Northern Iowa began a 12-0 run that extended their lead to 22 over the Hokies. In spite of Tech's junior forward Joey Van Zegeren's best efforts (who led all scorers with 15 points on .700 shooting and led his team with 6 rebounds), Virginia Tech never came closer than 17 after that point.

Matt Bohannon (Jr-G) led UNI in points with 13, making 3 of his 6 attempts beyond the arc. Marvin Singleton (Sr-F) was one rebound away from a double-double with 9 rebounds and 10 points, while Nate Buss (Sr-F) also added 10 off of the bench. Wes Washpun (Jr-G) scored 9, all in the second half, with a team leading 5 assists.

A significant part of Northern Iowa's scoring was making 18 of 20 free throws. Virginia Tech fell to 2-2,having lost to Appalachian State by a score of 65-63 just three days earlier after starting its season with two wins. A significant part of both of their losses was free throw shooting. Against Appalachian State they made only 10 of 18, and against UNI they only made a dismal 3 of their 8 FT attempts. That puts the Hokies at only making 50 percent of their free throws in their losses so far. Contrast that to an only slightly better 57.89 free throw percentage in their two wins.

Northern Iowa will advance to play the winner of Northwestern - Miami of Ohio in the Cancun Challenge Riviera Division Championship.