Saturday’s basketball: Northern Iowa shocks No. 1 North Carolina

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Northern Iowa guard Wes Washpun celebrates after his team's victory over North Carolina.

Cedar Falls, Iowa — North Carolina only scheduled a trip to Northern Iowa as a homecoming for Marcus Paige.

The Tar Heels could’ve used their injured senior star against the Panthers.

Wes Washpun scored 21 points and Northern Iowa stunned top-ranked North Carolina, 71-67, on Saturday — just a week after losing to Colorado State at home.

The Panthers used a 29-8 stretch over 12 minutes of the second half to turn a 50-34 deficit into a 63-58 lead, and held on for the upset.

“Very disappointed in me, more so than my team. We acted like a team that had not been coached very well out there,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. We “made a lot of mistakes.”

Northern Iowa also got 19 points from Matt Bohannon — whose 3-pointer with 2:51 left gave Northern Iowa the lead for good — and 14 points from Paul Jesperson.

Justin Jackson had 25 points for the Tar Heels (3-1), who didn’t force a single turnover in the second half.

Paige didn’t play because of a broken bone in his right hand. The Tar Heels missed him badly, as Paige’s replacement, Joel Berry, had just five points on 2-of-7 shooting.

“He’s our best player offensively and defensively and as fine a young man as I’ve ever been around in my life, so I’d like to have him on the court,” Williams said. “But North Carolina still plays.”

The Panthers (2-1) also beat the Tar Heels in the paint, 24-22, after Kennedy Meeks scored the first eight points for UNC.

Meeks finished with just 10 points, a total matched by Brice Johnson. The 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-9 forwards never established the inside game for UNC, and the Panthers were able to exploit that the rest of the way.

North Carolina appeared to be in control in the first half. But Washpun made a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer to pull the Panthers within 41-32, and Jeremy Morgan’s three cut it to 52-48.

Wyatt Lohaus gave Northern Iowa the lead with 9:21 left, and the Panthers were able to finish off one of the biggest upsets of the young season.

It was the biggest win for Northern Iowa since 2010, when it stunned top-seeded Kansas to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

“They had to play their tails off in that second half. The game was just about over with 15 minutes left and our guys hung in there and made a couple shots,” Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson said. “That last 10 minutes, I couldn’t ask any more from our guys.”

More Top 25

(At) No. 9 Wichita State 76, Emporia State 54: Ron Baker scored 23 points and Wichita State rolled.

Landry Shamet and Ty Taylor had nine points each for the Shockers (2-1). They played without injured senior point guard Fred VanVleet (hamstring, ankle).

Joshua Oswald led NCAA Division II Emporia State (0-2) with 16 points.

(At) No. 10 Gonzaga 101, Mount St. Mary's 56: Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help Gonzaga win in Battle 4 Atlantis.

Silas Melson added 15 points for the Zags (2-0).

BK Ashe had 16 points, and Will Miller 13 for Mount St. Mary’s (0-4), which is 1-25 against ranked teams.

(At) No. 18 Notre Dame 83, UMass-Lowell 57: Zach Auguste had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Irish.

With no River Hawk taller than 6-foot-8 to challenge him in the post, the 6-10 Auguste found his way to the basket early and often, scoring 15 of his points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting.

Demetrius Jackson had 15 points and five assists for Notre Dame (3-0).

Matt Harris scored 16 for UMass-Lowell (1-2).

(At) No. 19 UConn 83, Furman 58: Shonn Miller had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies.

Freshman guard Jalen Adams had 14 points and six assists, and Rodney Purvis added 13 points for UConn (3-0).

Matt Rafferty had 15 points for Furman (2-2).

Big Ten men

No. 21 Purdue 61, Old Dominion 39: Center A.J. Hammons scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half for Purdue in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn.

Kendall Stephens sparked a second-half run with nine of his 12 points for the Boilermakers (4-0).

Trey Freeman led Old Dominion (3-1) with 17 points.

(At) Rutgers 87, Cent Arkansas 84: Mike Williams scored a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Deshawn Freeman scored a career-high 23 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Scarlett Knights.

Corey Sanders added 14 points for Rutgers (3-1) and D.J. Foreman, 10 with nine rebounds.

Jordan Howard scored 19 points while Derreck Brooks had 21 points and seven rebounds for Central Arkansas (0-3).

Chattanooga 81, (at) Illinois 77: Eric Robertson scored 15, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:55 left, as Chattanooga overcame a nine-point, second-half deficit in an Emerald Coast Classic game.

Chattanooga (3-0) led by as many as 15 in the first half and by 12 shortly into the second before Malcolm Hill, who finished with 25 points, led a 34-13 Illinois surge. The Illini (1-3) led 69-60 with 6:20 left.

Three Mocs made 3-pointers to take the lead back in the final minutes. Tre’ McLean tied it with 2:45 left and Robertson’s corner trey gave the visitors from the Southern Conference a 77-74 lead they would not relinquish. Six Mocs scored in double figures.

The Mocs countered with balance. Chuck Ester and Justin Tuoyo scored 12 each for Chattanooga.

State men

(At) NC-Wilmington 80, Western Michigan 76: Chris Flemmings scored 19 points off the bench to help lift North Carolina-Wilmington.

Western Michigan quickly led 9-2, but four consecutive 3-point baskets — two by Craig Ponder and two from Flemmings — boosted NC-Wilmington (3-0) to a 17-13 lead. The Broncos (1-2) led 45-38 at the half and held the lead until Devontae Cacok’s dunk with 11:27 remaining put the Seahawks ahead 58-57.

The Seahawks held on from there, although Western Michigan cut the gap to 77-76 in a one-minute flurry that saw Thomas Wilder convert a 3-point play and Tucker Haymond and Anthony Avery hit jumpers.

Cacok and Jordon Talley made 3 of 4 foul shots in the last 18 seconds to preserve the lead.

Haymond led Western Michigan with 19 points, Avery added 14 and Wilder 12.

State women

(At) No. 23 Michigan State 79, Idaho State 60: Tori Jankoska scored 18 points, Jasmine Hines added 16 and the Spartans went up 7-0 en route to a 30-10 lead in the first quarter.

Michigan State (3-0) shot 54 percent in the first half and led 45-28 at the break.

Jankoska surpassed 1,000 career points in the first half, the 25th Spartan to reach that milestone. She also had nine assists and five steals. Hines hit 8 of 10 shots and grabbed eight rebounds. Aerial Powers added 12 points off the bench.

Anna Policicchio led Idaho State (1-2) with 17 points.

Michigan State forced the Bengals into 23 turnovers and turned those into 31 points.

Oakland 77, (at) Niagara Falls 67: Elena Popkey scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Golden Grizzlies.

Popkey, who went 3-for-3 behind the 3-point line and 4-for-4 on free throws, also had seven assists. Sinclair Russell added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Olivia Nash had 16 points and nine rebounds for Oakland (2-1).

Victoria Rampado scored 20 for Niagara (0-3).

(At) Eastern Michigan 78, Texas-Rio Grande Valley 56: Janay Morton scored 19 points and Cha Sweeney added 18 for the Eagles, who forced 17 turnovers and held the Vaqueos without a field goal for more than 14 minutes in the second half.

Morton also contributed seven steals for Eastern Michigan (2-0).

Hild Kjartansdottir scored 15 to lead Rio Grande (3-2).


Northwood 77, Cedarville 56

Indianapolis 93, Lake Superior State 75

Ferris State 102, St. Joseph’s (Ind.) 86

Lewis 85, Saginaw Valley 84


Adrian 83, Fredonia 57

Alma 101, Waynesburg 57

Albion 86, Berea 84

Ohio Wesleyan 91, Calvin 83

Hope 68, Wisconsin-Stevens Point 56