Jefferson, City Missouri – Four starters scored in double figures to help Nebraska-Kearney hold off Lincoln, 72-58, Saturday afternoon in Jefferson City, Mo. The Lopers (16-3, 8-3) win for the eighth time in the last nine outings while the Blue Tigers (3-17, 0-12) remain winless in league play. Despite a balanced attack, UNK once again had a game that went deep into the fourth quarter. Lincoln scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to cut into a 52-42 lead. However, a three from Battle Creek senior Michaela Barry pushed the Loper lead back to five. Three minutes later, Grand Island senior McKenzie Brown nailed a triple to make it 62-58 with 4:15 to play.
Lincoln, seeing eight different players score between four and 11 points, didn’t score again as the Lopers closed on a 13-0 run. The spurt featured 10 consecutive made free throws and the Blue Tigers going 0 of 6 from the field with four turnovers.
Barry once again led Kearney by scoring a game-high 24 points. She went 9 of 17 (4 of 9 threes) from the field and 2 of 2 at the line. Playing a team-high 37 minutes, Barry also had four defensive rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Brown (15 points and 11 rebounds) had her third career double double with Humphrey graduate transfer Alyssa Frauendorfer at 11 points, five boards and two steals. Finally, Crofton freshman Kelsey Sanger continued a great weekend by going 6 of 7 from the floor to score 14. Now 2-7 in Jeff City, the Blue Tigers were led by starter Bre Coleman (13 rebounds and eight points) and reserve Charnai Anderson (11 points in 15 minutes). UNK hosts Washburn and nationally-ranked Emporia State next weekend.
Jeffernson City, Missouri – Senior point guard Marquise Mason hit a three pointer with 1.8 seconds left to help Lincoln beat Nebraska-Kearney, 82-79, Saturday evening in Jefferson City, Mo. The Blue Tigers (11-10, 5-7) have now won three straight while the Lopers (9-11, 5-6) see a three-game win streak come to an end.
UNK trailed for most of the day and by as many as 10 points but a three from York senior Ty Danielson with 47 seconds left tied the game at 79. Lincoln, after a Danielson foul at the 24 second mark, then ran the clock down and Mason, shooting 39 percent on the year from behind the arc, hit a triple from the right side. The Lopers never got a shot off after inbounding the ball.
“It’s easy to focus on the one play at the end but there are so many plays between the tip ball at the beginning and the shot at the end,” said Loper head coach Kevin Lofton. “If we do a couple of things better it doesn’t come down to that last shot. Hats off to them for making the biggest play of the game at the right time.”
Junior guard Amarionetz Ivory (season-high 33 points and five rebounds) and junior forward Terrance Smith (23 points and six rebounds) paced Lincoln all night long. The pair, averaging around 28 points per game on the year, combined to go 21 of 30 from the field (6 of 11 threes). The rest of the Blue Tigers went for 26 points with Mason 1 of 6 from the field before his game winner.
“The lineup they started with was hard for us to match up. So we made an adjustment, rebounded from that and it was back and forth from there,” said Lofton. “A couple of more rebounds or a couple of more free throws and it’s a different game. In a game like this, any number of things could’ve swung it in our favor.”
Both teams were strong offensively, UNK shooting 54 percent (28 of 52) from the field and Lincoln 58 percent (29 of 50). The Blue Tigers were plus four on the glass, 26-22, but committed six more turnovers, 16-10, Lincoln did hit nine threes; UNK came in allowing just six per game which is the lowest in the MIAA.
Five Lopers were in double digits, led by Danielson (19) and Iowa senior forward Trey Lansman (17). Both attempted 11 shots with Danielson hitting seven and Lansman going 8 of 10 at the line. Next, Bellevue sophomore AJ Jackson tallied a season-best 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting with senior guards Lane Rohrich (Pierce) and Yashua Trent (Chicago) tallying 10 apiece.
UNK hosts Washburn and Emporia State next week.