Kearney, Neb. – Three starters scored in double figures to help Nebraska-Kearney out last Fort Hays State, 65-62, Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center. UNK (14-13, 10-8) wins a season-high fourth straight game and is now in sole possession of sixth place in the MIAA standings. Close behind are the Tigers (16-11, 9-9) and Lincoln (15-11, 9-8). The Lopers, improving to 10-2 at home, won despite shooting 68 percent (17 of 25) at the line, having senior Trey Lansman (Harlan, Ia.) foul out with 2:49 left and seeing forwards A.J. Jackson (Bellevue West) and Kyle Juhl (Harlan, Ka.) both leave with minor injuries. There also was three technical fouls called in the game (two on Hays and one on UNK). Jackson (10 points and three boards) and Juhl (nine points, six boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals) were having two of the better efforts as Lopers with Juhl running down the lane and throwing down a dunk midway through the second half. He was fouled on the play and made the subsequent free throw for good measure. “We were fortunate to come out of here with a win. If you look at the first 10 shots they got, a lot of them were point blank layups that they couldn’t get to go down. We very easily could’ve gone into halftime down eight or 10 but thankfully it wasn’t like that,” said Loper head coach Kevin Lofton. “It was a weird feeling the whole night.” In a game with 14 lead changes and 12 ties, UNK got a layup from Lansman with 3:19 to go to grab the lead for good, 57-55. He fouled out soon after but the Tigers top player, junior post Brady Werth, soon picked up his fifth foul as well.
A three from York senior guard Ty Danielson put the Lopers up 62-59 at the 1:43 mark and then neither team scored until there was 27 seconds left. During this stretch, UNK missed three shots and a free throw with the Tigers missing two freebies and a three pointer. On that missed badly missed three, junior guard Marcus Cooper (13 points & 12 rebounds) was there for an easy put back layup. He also was fouled and tied subsequently tied things up for the final time. UNK called a timeout near midcourt and on the ensuing inbounds pass Pierce senior guard Lane Rohrich was fouled trying to break a double team. He went 1 of 2 at the line with FHSU junior guard Kyle Kinnamon then missing a tough running layup with 14 seconds to go. Minnesota freshman reserve post Weston Baker Magrath grabbed the rebound and Minnesota junior guard Isaiah Mckay made two free throws to complete the scoring. He’s now 18 of 18 at the line on the season. FHSU had a chance to force overtime but Rohrich stole the ball from reserve guard Grant Holmes as he was about to take a three or pass to a teammate behind the arc. Danielson (16), Lansman (15) and Jackson led UNK in scoring with Danielson, Lansman and Baker Magrath each grabbing five rebounds. Lansman, fouling out for the third time this winter, now has 1,991 career points, fifth most in school history. Hays out rebounded UNK 42-35 including 15-7 on the offensive glass. They managed 15 second chance points but it could’ve been much more. Besides Cooper, Werth (17 points & eight rebounds) and Hadley Gillum (15 points) had big efforts for Hays. UNK hosts Southwest Baptist Friday night. The Bearcats (12-14, 6-11) are Hays on Thursday. The weird schedule is due to the NSAA state wrestling duals taking over the H & S Center on Saturday.
Kearney, Neb. – Junior guard Carly Heim went one of two at the line with seven seconds left and junior wing Tatyana Legette had 11 fourth quarter points to help Fort Hays State edge Nebraska-Kearney, 69-67, Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center. Winning in Kearney for an eighth straight time, the Tigers (22-5, 13-5) move into sole possession of third place in the MIAA standings with the Lopers (20-6, 12-6) in fourth, just ahead of Central Oklahoma and Emporia State (both 11-6). UCO and ESU play each other in Edmond on Saturday. The game featured seven ties and 14 lead changes with UNK playing well in the first and third quarters while the Tigers had the advantage in the second and fourth quarters. The Lopers, going 8 of 20 from the three point line with Hays just 1 of 19, led 48-40 entering the final 10 minutes. However, the Tigers started the fourth on an 8-0 and it was game on. “On a couple of our (late drives) they were bringing four or five to the ball. They are big and it’s difficult to get the ball out of traffic when we put it in a bad place. We did that a couple of times in the fourth and then we got some decent shots at the rim but we didn’t finish them,” said Loper head coach Carrie Eighmey. Legette, averaging a team-best 13.4 points on the season, converted back-to-back three point plays to give Hays a 62-57 lead with 2:13 to play.
The lead grew to seven, 66-59, with 43 seconds left when UNK made a big move. The Lopers got a three point play from senior McKenzie Brown (G.I. Northwest), a corner three from graduate transfer Alyssa Frauendorfer (Humphrey) and another layup by Brown. Meanwhile, Hays went 3 of 6 at the line with Heim missing the second of two free throws with seven seconds left. Brown rebounded the miss and senior Michaela Barry (Battle Creek) eventually got the ball. With the clock winding down and surrounded by three Tigers, she launched up a 28-footer from the right wing that bounced off the front of the rim. “We were out of time outs and the goal was to attack and push and get the best shot we could. It’s a game of inches,” said Eighmey. “We did a good job of managing that situation.” Hays overcame its frigid three point shooting by shooting 60 percent (26 of 43) inside the arc and by being plus seven on the glass, 42-35. That rebounding work led to 17 second chance points. “Legette played really well and bothered us. She was one of the biggest differences,” said Eighmey. “Another thing that stands out is their 46 points in the paint and those 17 second chance points. Those two things there those are daggers for you, especially late. We did a good job of forcing them to take the shot we wanted but just didn’t come up with the rebound.” Legette finished with a game-high 22 points on 9 of 13 field goal shooting. She also made four free throws and grabbed seven rebounds over 31 minutes. Next, six-foot sophomore guard Kacey Kennett had eight points and eight boards with 6-2 senior post Emma Stroyan (14) and Heim (13) also scoring in double digits. UNK held its own on the glass, 19-19, in the second half and was led offensively by Brown (18) and Barry (17). The each made six shots and pulled down five rebounds with Barry also having three assists and two blocks. Off the bench, Lincoln post Kennedy Sander (nine points, six rebounds and two assists) and Holdrege guard Jenna Gillespie (six points, three boards and two assists) had big efforts. On Friday, the Lopers host Southwest Baptist. The Bearcats (15-10, 7-11) are at Hays on Thursday. The weird scheduling is due to the NSAA state wrestling duals taking over the H & S Center on Saturday.