CEDAR FALLS — Megan Maahs is Northern Iowa’s double-double machine.
The Western Dubuque alumna enters Thursday’s WNIT matchup with Milwaukee having led the Missouri Valley in double-doubles this season. Maahs’ 12 double-doubles are UNI’s highest single-season mark in over a decade. But ask Maahs about her statistical accomplishments and she’ll tell you about her teammates.
“A lot of people to thank,” Maahs said of her 2017-18 season. “Definitely my teammates, number one. They pushed me to be uncomfortable throughout preseason and during the season. Most definitely there’s a lot of things I still need to work on. One of my biggest things going into last year was getting stronger.”
Maahs’ ability to make herself a stronger player before the season translated into big things both on and off the court for the Epworth native. On the court, her season averages of 10.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game were a result of the offseason work. On, and off the court, UNI head coach Tanya Warren refers to the sophomore as one of her team’s leaders. A role not typically held by Warren’s underclassmen.
“It’s a huge honor (being a leader),” Maahs said. “Just coming from high school I knew the transition (to UNI) was something that I was excited about and looked forward to. But being called a leader, I think it just goes a long way, and people really feed off the example I set during practices and games.”
Maahs’ head coach is a believer in “the process.” Needless to say, Maahs’ ability to bring what her coaches are seeking daily, whether it be on the game floor, practice floor, in the community, or in the classroom meshes with her head coach’s philosophy.
When the Panthers began the season losing seven of their first 10 games, it was steady leadership like Maahs’ that made a postseason appearance possible.
“I think just within the last six weeks you can look at it — our offense just started clicking together,” Maahs said. “It just all came together at one point.”
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Maahs and the clicking Panthers are set to take on Milwaukee, the Horizon League’s fourth-place finisher, Thursday at 7 p.m. at McLeod Center. Having won 11 of its last 14 games, UNI enters postseason play as one of the country’s hottest teams.
“Again, we just need to bring our defense. That’s our staple,” Maahs said of the matchup against Milwaukee. “Definitely just sharing the ball and finding the girls to hit the open shots. We just have to have our same mindset that we come with every single game.”