Kearney, Neb. – The Oklahoma Baptist Bison shot 53 percent from the field and had a plus seven rebounding margin to defeat Nebraska-Kearney, 72-57, Friday night in Shawnee, Okla.
This was the season opener for both teams with the game part of the Bison Conference Challenge. East (Okla.) Central downed Wayne State, 89-67, in the early contest.
UNK beat OBU, 80-78, to earn its first of the 2018-19 season but there would be not repeat of that performance tonight as the Bison led from start to finish. A balanced OBU attack saw four different players score 12 apiece. The Lopers were just 8 of 29 (2 of 12 threes) in the first half to fall behind by a 36-24 score. Kearney warmed up to 45% in the second half but didn’t get any closer than 12 points.
Baptist starters Harrison Stoddart, Jacque Brown and Rashard Lewis combined for 36 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and three blocks. Brown (UNC-Wilimington) and Lewis (Mercer) are both Division I transfers. Next, 6-7 sophomore reserve Mohammed Abubakar made all six shots he took to score 12 in 18 minutes.
The Lopers were led by a pair of newcomers in Bellevue redshirt freshman Cedric Johnson and Wahoo true freshman Winston Cook. Johnson got hot late to the tune of a team-high 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench. He made 4 of 7 shots (2 of 4 threes) and went 4 of 4 at the line while also pulling down three boards and having two steals. Cook made 4 of 8 field goals to tally 10 and joined Kansas senior Morgan Soucie as Lopers to have five rebounds.
UNK faces the East Central Tigers tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.