September 23, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Loper Women Win, Men Fall

Kearney, Neb. – Redshirt junior forward Shiloh McCool tallied a game-high 17 points and Nebraska Kearney used a big second half to beat Southwest Minnesota State, 67-57, Saturday evening at the Health & Sports Center. The game was part of a MIAA/NSIC “Crossover” Tournament with Northwest Missouri State downing Minnesota Crookston, 70-58, in the early game. Both UNK and Northwest went 2-0 on the weekend. It was a bit of déjà vu early on for the Lopers as the Mustangs shot out of the gates to the tune of 22-9. Last year in Maryville, a more veteran SMSU squad beat UNK, 76-66, as part of a 7-2 start.

“Our second half defense was good,” said UNK head coach Carrie Eighmey. “We’ll see (the dribble drive) quite a bit. There’s a lot of teams that run and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before but hadn’t seen it much this year. It hits you when you first get out there and then you get settled in.”

UNK trailed by 11 early in the second quarter and by seven, 34-27, at the break. A 13-5 third quarter closing run gave the Lopers the lead for good and made the score 45-44. The spurt featured a second chance bucket by McCool (Pleasant Hill, Ia.) and four made freebies.

McCool reached her point total by going 8 of 14 from the field. She also had four assists and nine rebounds over 31 minutes of action. Next, Kirsch (13) and South Dakota junior guard Trinity Law (11) reached double digits in points as they combined to go 9 of 17 from the floor. Kirsch also had two of UNK’s seven blocks with Law one of four Lopers to make two free throws. Finally, Mullen sophomore wing Samantha Moore was again big off the bench to the tune of 10 points, six caroms and three times.
The Lopers head to Chadron State (Thurs.) and Colorado School of Mines (Sat.) next week.

For the Loper men it was another tight loss. Four starters scored in double figures to help the 7th-ranked Minnesota-Duluth edge Nebraska Kearney, 78-72, Saturday evening in Duluth.
The game was part of the annual American Family Insurance Classic.

UMD, which returns the majority of its roster from a 2022 squad that won 26 games and reached the NCAAs, needed to rally past a Loper squad that was again hot from behind the arc. After sinking 15 of 33 bombs Friday vs. Bemidji State, UNK went 12 of 29 today. The makes came from seven different players with Colorado sophomore guard Sean Evans (5 of 8) having the hottest hand.

The Lopers held early leads of 14-2, 17-4 and 20-12 before a veteran Bulldogs squad rallied. A 14-4 run tied things at 24 by the 7:35 mark of the half with a triple from junior guard Joshua Brown giving UMD its first lead, 27-24, soon after. Evans tallied a career-high 26 points thanks to 10 of 16 shooting. He also went all 40 minutes with Nebeker logging 35 and tallying 19 points, five dimes and four boards. Before fouling out, Colorado sophomore wing Tom Connelly provided 10 points and four rebounds.

UNK hosts NAIA Manhattan Christian (3-2) on Tuesday night.

Source: Regional Sports