ST. THOMAS, Virgin Island - Adam Koch scored 25 points to lead Northern Iowa to a 74-68 victory over East Carolina Saturday in the consolation round of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The Panthers (2-1) advance to play the winner of the Boston College-South Dakota State game, while the Pirates (1-4) will face the loser at 1 p.m. EST on Monday.
Brock Young Led the Pirates with 18 points, while Jamar Abrams and Jontae Sherrod added 15 points each. Darrius Morrow chipped in 12 points.
The Panthers led by 10, 39-29, at halftime behind 15 first half points from Adam Koch, who sank four 3s prior to intermission. Back-to-back 3s from Koch gave UNI and early four-point lead which he extended to nine with a jumper at the 11:56 mark.
Northern Iowa maintained the lead throughout the first half and lead by 14 with 1:46 following a pair of free throws by Ali Farokmanesh. ECU scored the final four points of the half as Abrams and Sherrod both made jump shots.
Jordan Eglseder, who recorded a double-double with 19 point and 10 rebounds, scored eight of the Panthers' first 13 points of the second half to push their lead to back to 14, 47-33, with 15:13 left. The Pirates slowly cut into the Panthers' lead and pulled within six on a pair of free throws by Sherrod with 8:10 to play. Young later sank two free throws to bring ECU within four, 57-53.
Eglseder then snatched the moment from the Pirates, grabbing a defensive rebound and dropping in a hook shot to give UNI at six-point lead. Koch added two free throws on the Panthers' next possession for an eight-point advantage. Abrams layup with 2:20 to go brought ECU within five. With the shot clock running down, UNI called timeout to set up a play. Kwadzo Ahelegbe then hit a fade-away jumper as the shot clock expired to push the Panthers lead back to seven with 1:43 to play.
The Pirates made a trio of 3s in the final 1:13, but the Panthers sank 7-of-8 free throws in the last 60 seconds to preserve victory.
Both teams shot over 40percnet from the field and over 70 percent at the foul line. UNI outscored ECU by six at the free throw line where it converted 22-of-30 attempts, compared to 16-of-21 by the Pirates. The Pirates cut down their number of turnovers from their previous game against Tennessee by 24, committing only 11 miscues on the night, its fewest of the season.