The Sycamores (9-4, 2-0 Missouri Valley) never trailed after 3:43 remained in the first half and held on despite making just 4 of 8 from the free-throw line in the last 34 seconds.
Trailing by three points, Northern Iowa called its final timeout with 6.5 seconds left to set up a final play. But the Panthers (7-7, 0-2) turned the ball over, and Lucas Eitel hit a free throw for Indiana State.
Seth Tuttle had 24 points and 10 rebounds and James Anthony added 12 points for Northern Iowa.
Gant was 8 of 12 from the field with six rebounds.
Leaving early for the NBA is a risky decision. Some players -- Skal Labissiere, Dejounte Murray -- slid in the draft. Some -- Isaiah Taylor, Troy Williams -- weren't drafted at all.
College basketball coaches across the country will hit the recruiting trail hard in July to target the Class of 2017's top prospects. Which players are the nation's top programs targeting?
The Tar Heels could lose Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks after next season. Coach Roy Williams has nearly every top-10 2017 prospect on his board.