Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball team scored the first 15 points and never looked back in a 96-22 win over Manhattan Christian (Kan.) College Saturday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center.
The Lopers (9-2) stop a two-game losing streak and are now off until a December 30th home game vs. York College. The Thunder, from Manhattan, Kan., remain 5-3 as this was an exhibition game per NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) rules.
UNK’s 74-point margin of victory is the second largest in school history, trailing only a 79-point victory (114-35) over the College of St. Mary back in the 2001-02 season. Next, the 22 points is the fourth fewest by a Loper opponent and the least in 43 seasons.
“We really wanted to make sure we executed at a high level. Today, that meant we wanted our ball movement to be a lot better than last week. We wanted to make sure we had multiple ball reversals on each possession,” said Loper head coach Carrie Eighmey. “We also wanted to get some inside outside touches with our post players. We definitely did a better job of all that today.”
Kearney also cracked the all-time top 10 for made field goals (40), assists (25) and steals (19). All 13 healthy players took to the court with 12 scoring and none logging more than 26 minutes.
“It doesn’t matter what the defense looks like. That’s us making sure we’re patient and getting multiple passes and ball reversals to help us,” said Eighmey. “If you look statistically at our games and break down film, when we get the ball to multiple sides of the floor our shooting percentage drastically goes up.”
Facing a Thunder team with just eight players and none standing taller than 5-9, UNK controlled the action inside the arc. Overall, the Lopers outscored MCC 64-8 in the paint, 28-0 on the fast break, tallied 37 points off 27 turnovers and got 66 points off its bench.
Manhattan Christian didn’t score more than seven points in any quarter with Kearney going 13 of 16 (81.2%) from the field in the fourth quarter to tally 29.
“They aren’t huge and run a perimeter-based offense. They had several shooters on the floor at the same time and were able to get a few more threes off (22) than I would’ve liked,” said Eighmey. “Our kids still did a good job of defending the perimeter and not giving up easy points in the paint.”
Barry reached her point total in just 14 minutes while also having four assists, three steals, three boards and two blocks. Prater (team-high seven) was one of six Lopers with at least four rebounds while Sander made 8 of 10 shots. Finally, Hoyt hit three triples to help UNK sink six overall.
Manhattan Christian was led by starter Haleigh Hipsher (10 rebounds) and reserve Sierra Moore (seven points).