CEDAR FALLS Ė At times, it looked like the Northern Iowa menís basketball team was ready to give unbeaten Wichita State all it could handle.
Then, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, the Shockers would strike with speed and precision and, well, look like the No. 2 team in the country.
Using a series of mini runs throughout the Missouri Valley Conference menís basketball game last night, the Shockers shook off the Panthers, 82-73, in front of a sellout crowd of 7,150, the third largest in McLeod Center history.
Tekele Cotton led Wichita State (25-0, 12-0) with 18 points, Cleanthony Early added 16 and Darius Carter came off the bench to pour in 15.
Former Linn-Mar standout Matt Bohannon led UNI (11-13, 5-7) with 17, Seth Tuttle added 16 and ex-Cedar Rapids Washington prep Wes Wasphun had 14 each.
The Panthers looked sharp early in the game and led 20-19 with 8:41 left.
But the Shockers went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:53 and didnít trail again in the first 20 minutes. They ended the half with a 44-37 lead with Early scoring 16 points.
Wichita State also hit 11 of its 12 first-half free throws and was nailing 53.8 percent of its field goals.
UNI shot 44 percent in the first half with Tuttle scoring 10 points.
UNI pulled within 44-43 with 18:13 left, scoring the first six points of the second half. After a little back-and-forth, the Shockers, seemingly right on schedule, went on an 8-0 run and led 56-44 with 14:06 left in the game.
It was more of the same throughout the second half Ė UNI would get close, then, bang, a Shock-wave.
The Panthers host Loyola on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.