CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Nate Buss scored 16 points to lead a hot-shooting Northern Iowa team over Virginia Commonwealth 77-68 on Saturday.
Northern Iowa (5-5) shot 53.1 percent from the field and held off VCU (8-3) down the stretch.
The Panthers led 27-20 at half and never trailed in the second half. VCU tied the game at 44 midway through the second half, but Northern Iowa responded with a 7-0 run, sparked by a Buss 3-pointer.
VCU trailed 63-60 with 3:10 left before Wes Washpun was fouled and hit two free throws for Northern Iowa. The Panthers made 8 of 10 free throws in the final 2 minutes to maintain the lead.
The Rams lost in December for the first time since 2010, snapping a streak of 17 straight December wins.