The University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team tallied a 77-68 victory over Saturday over the VCU Rams at the McLeod Center.

The Panthers (5-5 overall) got a boost from the bench in the triumph as Nate Buss (16 points), Jeremy Morgan (13 points) and Marvin Singleton (9 points, 6 rebounds) led the home squad to a 39-17 bench scoring advantage.

The Rams (8-3 overall) had a pair of 18-point performances from Jordan Burgess and Treveon Graham in the loss. VCU came into the game averaging 12.7 steals per game but was able to secure only nine steals against the Panthers on Saturday.

VCU led 10-5 after a three-point play from Juvonte Reddic with 12:09 left in the first half. UNI was able to hold the Rams without a field goal for 5:22 and took a 13-10 lead with 7:01 remaining in the half. UNI eventually pushed the halftime lead to 27-20.

A pair of Buss buckets gave UNI an eight-point lead with 16:26 left in the game. But VCU was able to battle back and knot the score at 44-44 with 12:06 remaining. A 7-0 UNI run keyed by a 3-pointer from Buss gave the Panthers the momentum again.

A quick 5-0 run by VCU trimmed the lead to 51-49 but the Panthers responded with a pair of three-pointers from Morgan and another from Matt Bohannon to make it 57-51 with 7:56 left.

VCU would trim the lead back to three at 63-60 with 4:28 remaining after a basket from Briante Weber. But the Panthers would close it out in the final four minutes for a nine-point victory.

UNI will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the Virginia Cavaliers next Saturday. Tip is set for 3 p.m. (CT) at John Paul Jones Arena.

NOTES: UNI moved its return BracketBusters record to 8-2 with the win over VCU ... UNI has made at least one 3-pointer in 439 straight games - longest streak in the Missouri Valley Conference ... UNI has also made at least three 3-pointers in 91 consecutive games ... UNI outrebounded VCU, 41-32 ... Singleton played 16 minutes and did not miss a shot as he was 3-for-3 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line ... UNI shot 67.9 percent from the field in the second half.