Kearney, Neb. – Four starters scored in double figures and the Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball team shot 59 percent in the first half to easily defeat Northeastern State, 79-63, Saturday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center.
Improving to 12-1 at home, UNK (20-5, 12-5) reaches 20 wins for the first time in nine years. This marks the 17th 20-win season in the program’s modern history (49th year). Fourteen of those 20-wins seasons have come at the NCAA Division II level with the Lopers now having 775 wins since 1969.
To record one of its easier victories in the MIAA this season, the Lopers scored at least 21 points in the first three quarters and dominated points in the paint, 38-16. UNK led for 36 minutes and by as many as 24 points.
“It’s crazy to say at this point of the season but we’re continuing to get better. Continuing to grow in our ability to score on really good defenses and we’ll see a good defense Tuesday night in Fort Hays State,” said Loper head coach Carrie Eighmey.
UNK led 21-14 after the opening quarter thanks to 7 of 13 shooting (54 percent). That included 3 of 5 three point shooting but NSU (9-15, 5-12) rallied a bit, getting a three from reserve Caitlyn Long to make it a 25-22 deficit. However, UNK closed the half on an 18-3 run that featured threes from senior Michaela
Barry (Battle Creek) and freshmen Adreon Bell (Independence, Mo.) and six straight points by graduate transfer Alyssa Frauendorfer (Humphrey). “We’ve execute well offensively the last few games and defensively, even though we lost Thursday (to Central Oklahoma), our effort has been really good,” said Eighmey.
The ‘Hawks, minus two key players due to injury, shot 50 percent (5 of 10) in the third quarter but UNK still increased its lead by two. NSU did go on an 11-0 run midway through the final quarter but the Lopers were already up 23 at the time of the spurt.
Barry led Kearney with 19 points, 12 coming in the first half. She was 7 of 12 from the floor (3 of 7 threes) while also handing out a team-best five assists. Next, senior McKenzie Brown had 11 points, five rebounds and two made triples. She now has 239 career made threes, just nine from breaking Beth Swift’s career record set from 1998-2002.
Also on the perimeter, Crofton freshman Kelsey Sanger played a team-high 35 minutes and finished with 12 points and six boards (three offensive). Finally among the starting five, Frauendorfer went 7 of 7 from the field (2 of 2 threes) to tally 17. Off the bench, Bell had seven and sophomore forward Katey Brown (Craig) had five boards, five points, a block and steal.
NSU saw starter Bailee Eldred have a productive fourth quarter to finish with a double double (16 points and 10 rebounds).
UNK hosts Fort Hays State Tuesday night. The Tigers (21-5, 12-5) are tied with the Lopers for third in the MIAA, two games behind Pittsburg State and one game ahead of Central Oklahoma and Emporia State.
Kearney, Neb. – Senior forward Trey Lansman had 32 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals to help Nebraska-Kearney hold off Northeastern State, 93-84,Saturday evening at the Health & Sports Center.
UNK (13-13, 9-8) has won three straight to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since December 2. The Lopers, 9-2 at home, are now in a three-way tie for sixth in the MIAA with Fort Hays State and Lincoln. Hays (16-10) comes to the Buckle Court Tuesday night.
It was an offensive shootout throughout as each team shot above 50 percent from the field for most of the day while combining for 18 made threes and 47 made free throws. UNK led for the final 22 minutes but never by more than 11 points.
NSU (7-19, 3-14), now 3-14 in games decided by 12 points or less, was down 77-66 with 7:33 to play but made one last move. An 11-2 run was capped by two made free throws from sophomore guard Trent Cantrell. He and fellow reserve Lucas Antunez combined for 31 points, six boards and five assists.
UNK got a big bucket from its bench when sophomore forward Kyle Juhl (Harlan, Ia.), falling down, hit a bucket with 3:42 left. He also was fouled on the play and sunk the ensuing free throw.
Graduate transfer Jamir Andrews, formerly of D1 Albany (NY), responded with a three and UNK led by just an 84-82 margin. However, the Lopers scored its next nine points from the line with the ‘Hawks having two turnovers and missing five shots during this stretch.
“Our game plan was to get inside to Trey as much as we could. Good things happen when we do that; he either scores, goes to the line or they double him and he can throw it out for an open rhythm shot,” said Loper head coach Kevin Lofton. “We might’ve been 4 of 17 (from the three point line) in the first half but those were all pretty wide open. We just got a lot of front rimmed shots.”
UNK countered the big bench production from the ‘Hawks by grabbing 10 offensive rebounds which led to 17 second chance points. The heroes there were sophomore forward AJ Jackson (Bellevue) with four and freshman reserve post Weston Baker Magrath (Marshall, Minn.) with two.
“We needed every free throw we got and we made enough of them,” said Lofton. “Down the stretch in a few games this year we didn’t make enough plays. We were able to do that today.”
Finishing 25 of 29 at the line and 10 of 31 from the arc, UNK saw four starters score in double digits. Having a fourth straight double double, Lansman went 13 of 13 at the line and had 11 defensive rebounds. Now with 15 double doubles for the year, he was 9 of 15 (1 of 5 threes) from the field.
With another big weekend, Lansman pushes his career point total to 1,976. That ranks sixth in UNK history with Nick Svehla (1,983/’03) next to be passed.
Next, York senior Ty Danielson sunk three treys to score 15 with Minnesota junior guard Isaiah McKay at 13 points, three assists, two boards and no turnovers. Finally, York senior guard Lane Rohrich had 12 points, six dimes and three rebounds.
Andrews made eight shots, including five threes, to scored 24 for the ‘Hawks. Guard Tanner Mouse hit a series of jumpers to have 19 points to join Andrews, Cantrell andAntunez in double figures.