Tekele Cotton scores 18 and No. 4 Wichita State beats Northern Iowa 82-73 to open 25-0

The Associated Press

Wichita State guard Ron Baker, left, passes in front of Northern Iowa guard Jeremy Morgan during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Tekele Cotton scored 18 points and fourth-ranked Wichita State beat Northern Iowa 82-73 on Saturday night, clearing perhaps its toughest remaining hurdle for an unbeaten regular season.

Cleanthony Early had all 16 of his points in the first half for the Shockers (25-0, 12-0 Missouri Valley Conference). They became the first team to open 25-0 since Derrick Rose helped Memphis win its first 26 games in 2007-08.

Northern Iowa got as close as 44-43 before Wichita State went on a 12-1 run early in the second half. The Panthers pulled back within single digits before Fred VanVleet's 3-pointer made it 69-57 with just more than 5 minutes left.

Matt Bohannon had 17 points and Seth Tuttle scored 16 for the Panthers (11-13, 5-7), who were outrebounded 40-24.

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