Forward Nate Buss scored 16 points on seven-of-eight shooting, including two of three on 3-pointers, to lead host Northern Iowa to a 77-68 victory over Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday at the McLeod Center.
Buss also tied for a game-high seven rebounds. Guards Jeremy Morgan (13 points) and Deon Mitchell (11) also scored in double figures for the Panthers. Mitchell added seven rebounds.
The Panthers shot 53. 1 percent from the field to improve to 5-5 on the season. The Rams fell to 8-3 as they made just 36.9 percent from the floor.
Northern Iowa led 27-20 at the break and held steady in the second half.
Northern Iowa outrebounded VCU 37-30.
Guards Trevean Graham and Jordan Burgess each scored 18 points to lead VCU. Guard JeQuan Lewis was the only other Ram to score in double figures with 13 points. Graham also had seven rebounds.
VCU made 10 of 25 (40 percent) from 3-point range but it was not enough to overcome Northern Iowa. The Panthers were just six of 19 (31.6 percent) on threes.