AJ Green gave Northern Iowa the lead for good with his ninth 3-pointer midway through the second half and the visiting Panthers pulled away from previously unbeaten St. Bonaventure for a 90-80 nonconference victory over the No. 16 Bonnies on Saturday.
Green, the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2020 who played just three games last year before a season-ending hip injury, tied his career high with 35 points, equaling his total in 2020 game against Bradley.
Green, who passed Matt Bohannon for the school all-time lead in 3-pointers in his last outing, buried his career-best nine in 15 attempts, including five in a flurry over the final 3:01 of the first half that allowed Northern Iowa (2-3) to break from a 33-all tie and take a 47-34 advantage.
St. Bonaventure (5-1), down by as many as 19 early in the second half, rallied to a 62-all tie on a Jalen Adaway dunk with 10:49 remaining.
Green, however, followed that with a 3-pointer and Tywhon Pickford added a 3-pointer of his own, allowing the Panthers to seize the lead for good. Nate Heise connected for two late 3-pointers as the visitors went up by as many as 12 at 84-72 with 2:10 remaining.
Heise and Austin Phyfe added 15 points apiece for the Panthers, who were playing the 16th-ranked team in the nation for a second straight game. Northern Iowa lost at Arkansas last Wednesday when the Razorbacks were No. 16.
Pickford finished with a game-high nine rebounds to complement five points. His 3-pointer came in his only attempt from deep as the Panthers made 15 of 31 from long range.
Kyle Lofton had 21 points and Dominick Welch 20 for the Bonnies, who were outshot 51.6 percent to 42.2 percent overall, and 48.4 percent to 38.7 percent on 3-pointers.
All but two of Welch's points came on 6-of-13 shooting from 3-point range, while Lofton built his team-high total on the strength of 10 of 11 at the free-throw line. Lofton also had a game-high seven assists and four steals.
Jaren Holmes had 15 points, while Adaway and Osun Osunniyi scored 12 apiece for St. Bonaventure, which got all its scoring from its starters.
--Field Level Media