OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — AJ Green scored 35 points with four assists to lead Northern Iowa to a 90-80 win over No. 16 St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
Austin Phyfe and Nate Heise each had 15 points as the Panthers (2-3) beat a ranked opponent for the first time since winning 79-76 at then-No. 23 Colorado on Dec. 10, 2019.
Green did most of his damage from 3-point territory, making a career-best 9 of 15, to match his career high for scoring. The preseason player of the year in the Missouri Valley Conference was 8 of 28 from long range in Northern Iowa’s first four games.
Kyle Lofton had 21 points, seven assists and four steals for St. Bonaventure (5-1). Dominick Welch scored 20 points and Jaren Holmes had 15.
Northern Iowa shot 51.6% from the field against a St. Bonaventure defense that held four of its first five opponents under 35% shooting. The Panthers made 15 of 31 from beyond the arc.
St. Bonaventure got back in the game by outscoring Northern Iowa 26-7 over seven minutes to erase a 19-point deficit midway through the second half.
Green scored every point during a 17-1 run that gave Northern Iowa a 47-34 lead before halftime. He made six from long range for 22 first-half points, doubling his scoring average from the first four games.
Northern Iowa: After competing for a half in its previous loss against No. 13 Arkansas, the Panthers finished the job in their second matchup with ranked foe. It’s the first win this season against a Division I opponent for a team that was predicted to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference.
St. Bonaventure: Opening four-game homestand with first loss of the season was a letdown from beating Boise State, Clemson and Marquette to win the Charleston Classic championship. The Bonnies were trying to start 6-0 for first time since 1973-74.
Northern Iowa: Begins MVC play at Bradley on Wednesday.
St. Bonaventure: Hosts Coppin State on Wednesday.