WICHITA, Kan.- Wichita State used eight blocked shots as a team to defeat Northern Iowa 57-47 and grab their tenth straight win on Friday night at Charles Koch Arena.
Alex Harden led the Shockers in scoring with 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting. She also grabbed seven rebounds. Jessica Diamond had 11 points, a career-high in rebounds with nine and dished out six assists with no turnovers. Darice Fountaine also had a career-high in rebounds with 10.
Jacqui Kalin scored 20 points for Northern Iowa, shooting 7-for-14 from the field, including 3-for-6 from behind the arc. Amber Kirschbaum pulled down 11 rebounds for the Panthers.
Wichita State (16-6, 10-0) started out the game on the right foot, building a 12-4 lead within the first seven minutes of the contest. Darice Fountaine nailed the first 3-pointer of the night for the Shockers with 14:06 remaining in the half. On the next play, Michelle Price capped the run and scored the seventh and eighth straight points for Wichita State on a steal and layup.
Northern Iowa (10-12, 5-5) answered back with seven straight points of their own to cut the Shocker lead to one, 12-11.
Diamond ended the Panther run and a 0-for-5 shooting slump for Wichita State with a jumper to stretch the Shocker lead to 14-11.
The Panthers continued to fight and took their first lead of game on a Jacqui Kalin 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining in the half that put her team up, 19-17.
After Northern Iowa rattled off nine straight points, Diamond would be the run-stopper yet again for the Shockers when she made a layup, was fouled and then went to the line to complete the old-fashioned 3-point play that cut the Panther lead to 23-20.
The Shockers would cut more into the Northern Iowa lead when Jazimen Gordon blocked a shot from Jen Keitel, Diamond raced the ball up the court and passed to Alex Harden, who made a layup as the first half expired to put the Shockers down one, 23-22.
Diamond led the Shockers in scoring for the first half, shooting 3-for-6 from the field to tally seven points. As a team, the Shockers shot 9-for-27 (.333), including 2-for-5 (.400) from behind the arc. They also blocked six Panther shots in the half.
The Shockers scored the first five points of the second half on a Michaela Dapprich layup and a 3-pointer by Jasmine Jones to go up 27-23 with 17:33 remaining in the game.
After Wichita State stretched the lead to as many as seven points, the Panthers cut the lead to three, 37-34, on a 3-point shot by Brooke Brown. That was the closest they would get all night however, as the Shockers went on another run, scoring seven straight points to go up 46-36 with 5:55 remaining and put the game away.
The Shockers are next in action on Sunday, February 10 at Charles Koch Arena against Bradley. Tip is set for 2:05 p.m.