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Panther Spirit in Full Force in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- Northern Iowa is moving on in the Missouri Valley Tournament on Friday.

The Panthers defeated Southern Illinois 66 to 60 Friday afternoon.

The Panther faithful arrived in St. Louis in full force. A majority of fans wore their hearts on their sleeves, but one ultimate fan proved her passion extends to her feet.

“I saw them in Iowa State colors and I was like, if she can make them in ISU she can make them for UNI,” said fan Sara Phillips, who was wearing UNI-themed shoes.

More fans gathered inside St. Louis' Ballpark Village for a pep rally that included the cheer team and the school fight song before the afternoon game.

Panther fans came as far away as Colorado to cheer on the team. Whether they were surrounded by friends or strangers, if they were in purple, they were family.

“It’s been incredible. You see a sea of purple, whether it's in this facility or at the game. There's a lot of support a lot of pride in Panther basketball, and it's been great to be a part of it,” said Michael Morgan, father of UNI guard Jeremy Morgan.

The junior guard led the Panthers in scoring Friday, which led to UNI’s 6-point victory against Southern Illinois.

The Panthers are back at it Sunday at 2:30 p.m. where they face off against top-seeded Wichita State.