KEARNEY, Neb. – The Northeastern State women’s basketball team fell 61-58 to Nebraska-Kearney Wednesday night inside the Health & Sports Center.
The loss for the RiverHawks (10-15, 7-11 MIAA) drops them to ninth place in the conference standings with one game remaining in the regular season.
NSU will need to defeat Fort Hays State (at 6 pm Feb. 28 in Hays, Kan.) and have Northwest Missouri State lose at Central Missouri on March 1 in order for the RiverHawks to finish eighth in the final MIAA standings. A top-8 finish ensures NSU a home game in the first round of the MIAA Championship March 3.
The Lopers (9-16, 5-12 MIAA) used 18 offensive rebounds and a season-high 20 turnovers from Northeastern State to come from nine points down in the second half to earn the victory.
Freshman forward Mya Walker paced NSU with 19 points. She started the game 7 of 8 from the field but missed her last three shots. Junior guard Fontana Tate added 13 points, while freshman forward Che’Ron Lewis tallied 11 points.
NSU shot 48.9 percent (23-for-47) from the field, 28.6 percent (4-for-14) from downtown and 80 percent (8-for-10) at the line. UNK shot 29.2 percent (19-for-65) from the field, 24 percent (6-for-25) from behind the arc and 73.9 percent (17-for-23) at the free-throw line.
Nebraska-Kearney dominated NSU in points off turnovers (26-10), second-chance points (23-2), offensive rebounds (18-3), and fewest turnovers (11-20).
The Lopers were led by Amarah Williams and Shelby Zimmerman, who dominated the glass and both finished with double-doubles. Williams registered 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Zimmerman added 12 points and 10 boards. Laramey Lewis added 11 points for the home side.
Northeastern State jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game, but the Lopers quickly responded and tied the score at 7-7 by the 15:35 mark. NSU fought for a minimal 19-16 edge at 8:38, and the team used a 6-0 run to pull ahead by nine points that lasted all the way to halftime.
Nebraska-Kearney again quickly responded, getting to within one at 32-31 with 18:17 to play in regulation. UNK finally took its first lead of the second half at 50-48 with 7:27 remaining, and the two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the game.
NSU led by four with 3:12 to play, but the Lopers would take advantage of a plethora of RiverHawks mistakes down the stretch to close on a game-winning 7-0 run.
Northeastern State has now lost seven-straight games on the road, which is the most since the 1998-99 season.
Men: Nebraska Kearney 84, Northeastern State 65
The Northeastern State men’s basketball team lost 84-65 to Nebraska-Kearney Wednesday night inside the Health & Sports Center.
The RiverHawks (13-12, 8-10 MIAA) fell to ninth place in the MIAA standings with one game remaining in the regular season, while the Lopers (13-12, 9-9 MIAA) vaulted from ninth to seventh with the victory.
NSU was outrebounded 45-20. The 25-rebound margin is the largest discrepancy in the Larry Gipson era (since 1997-98). UNK also held a 20-0 advantage in points in the paint and a 42-32 edge in points in the paint.
Northeastern State was led by senior guard Bryton Hobbs, who came off the bench to score 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Michael Harmon added 16 points.
The RiverHawks shot 44.4 percent (24-for-54) from the field, 25 percent (4-for-16) from behind the arc and 68.4 percent (13-for-19) at the free-throw line. The Lopers shot 53.4 percent (31-for-58) from the field, 41.7 percent (5-for-12) from downtown and 77.3 percent (17-for-22) at the charity stripe.
Mike Dentlinger paced UNK with 22 points. Connor Beranek added 17 and Davion Pearson chipped in 11. Ethan Brozek registered a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Nebraska-Kearney jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never trailed in the contest. UNK held a 42-33 lead at halftime and blew the game open in the second half.
NSU will now head to Hays, Kan., to complete the regular season against Fort Hays State at 8 p.m. Feb. 28. The RiverHawks will need to defeat the Tigers and have UNK or Washburn lose in order for the green and white to get back into the top 8 in the final MIAA standings.