Henry Leads Second-Half Charge in UNI’s Chicago Showcase Win
A big, much-needed win. UNI (4-7, 1-1) traveled to the United Center in Chicago for the Legends of Basketball Showcase and defeated Towson (8-4), 83-66.
And it's not like the odds were in their favor, especially throughout the first half.
Between ten turnovers, a nine-to-one offensive rebound advantage for the Tigers, and two early fouls on starters Tytan Anderson and Michael Duax as well as Cole Henry, it'd be reasonable to assume the Panthers were run out of the building over the first 20 minutes.
Bowen Born and Landon Wolf made sure Towson couldn't get away -- not without a fight.
Throughout the first half, Born (12) and Wolf (8) combined for 20 of the Panthers' 31 points, including two threes and eight made free throws. Born, UNI's leading scorer (19 ppg), got all five of his attempts from the charity stripe to go, and Towson took just a two-point lead, 33-31, into the half.
"Bo has a had a rough couples games," Anderson said postgame. "But he came back and played a hell of a game. That just shows how great of a player he is."
In the second half, Born didn't relent and Henry and Anderson came to life.
The Norwalk, Iowa native added 15 points in the second frame, going 2-3 from deep, 7-8 from the free throw line, and adding in a driving layup to tally 27 points. He added eight assists, which was a career-high.
Not only that, but the rebounding discrepancy in the first half disappeared, as the duo of big men attacked the basket and followed shots from teammates, totaling seven boards and 24 points over the second half. Henry put up 15 -- a career-high -- and Anderson added nine in the final 20 minutes to finish with 14.
Prior to Saturday's game, Henry was averaging just 3.6 points per contest.
"I'd agree (I've been more aggressive these last two games)," Henry said. "I've been battling an ankle issue all season. ... It's been getting progressively better every day. I've been working with Don Bishop, our trainer. He's been helping me get more explosive."
"It's definitely nice getting a man like Cole back," Anderson added. "He's a big part of our team, and those injuries have been tough. It's great to have him back."
Henry went 6-7 from the floor and 3-4 from the free throw line in the second half. Behind the effort of the big man, the Panthers outscored Towson 52-33 over the final 20 minutes.
The defense Cedar Falls native Trey Campbell provided on the Towson backcourt in the second frame was just an added bonus.
"Trey's a phenomenal defender," Henry said. "He was able to take care of business for us. ... He's a freshman playing 38 minutes every night. He's always playing his tail off."
"I want to shout him out for sure," Anderson added. "He played (Nicolas Timberlake) tough. Trey really limited his points."
Timberlake, a fifth-year senior was averaging 15.7 points per game for Towson heading into today's game. Campbell held the upperclassmen to 12 points on 5-12 shooting and registered a steal.
"We took care of business today," Henry said. "I think this is a big eye-opener for us -- that we can win close games down the stretch. Being able to turn around and dominate the second half, that tells us a lot about this team. ... Getting a win in the United Center where the Bulls play is pretty cool, but we want to get wins in the McLeod Center, and then wins in the Enterprise Center, and then wins in the NCAA Tournament. This is one step."
Next, UNI will take on St. Bonaventure at home at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 22.