CHICAGO — AJ Green got Northern Iowa into overtime, but after smashing his nose on the floor of Gentile Arena, couldn’t lift the Panthers over the finish line, with Loyola winning, 82-73.
The loss snapped a six-game win streak for UNI (22-4, 11-3) and allowed Loyola (18-9, 10-4) to cut the Panthers’ Missouri Valley Conference lead down to one game.
“AJ getting hit in his face on the floor; he may have broke his nose,” UNI Coach Ben Jacobson said on the Panther Radio Network. “I don’t know if he did or he didn’t. He said he’s fine and wasn’t coming out of the game. It did seem he was out of whack. That’s a tough spot when you are shooting the basketball, eyes watering.”
The Panthers trailed by seven points with 2:38 left in regulation, but Isaiah Brown canned two 3-pointers and Trae Berhow hit a jumper to make it 71-68 with 48 seconds left.
Green, who was 2-of-10 from the arc to that point, tied the game with a 3-pointer with four seconds left.
But overtime was a nightmare for UNI. Green went scrambling for a loose ball early in the extra period, and slammed his face on the court. His bleeding face was treated, and he continued playing.
Green missed his next four shots, and the Panthers were 0-of-10 from the field overall the first 4:45 of OT. Green finally canned a jumper, but it was too late.
Loyola’s Keith Clemons had 25 points. Cameron Krutwig had 21 points and 11 rebounds.
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Panther center Austin Phyfe battled Krutwig and had 12 points, a career-best 17 rebounds and seven assists. UNI is at Indiana State (14-10, 7-6) on Thursday.