PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Spencer Haldeman scored 15 points to help Northern Iowa beat SMU 61-58 in Wednesday’s final first-round game at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Panthers (4-1) shot 48 percent and controlled the glass in their fourth straight win since a season-opening loss to reigning national champion North Carolina. Northern Iowa took the lead for good midway through the first half and led by as many as 15 before the break.
The Panthers led just 53-52 with 6 ½ minutes left, but never relinquished the lead. Bennett Koch hit two key free throws in the last 12 seconds to keep Northern Iowa in control.
Jarrey Foster scored 19 points to lead the Mustangs (4-1), who shot 39 percent and made 6 of 21 3-pointers (29 percent).
Northern Iowa advanced to Thursday’s semifinals to face North Carolina State, which upset No. 2 Arizona. SMU will face the Wildcats in the consolation bracket.