Jake Walker scored a game-high 25 points and helped Nebraska-Kearney hand Northeastern State its fourth consecutive loss Sunday in Kearney, Nebraska.
The RiverHawks (1-5) allowed 50 percent or better shooting for the fourth time this season as the Lopers shot 50.8 percent overall and were an even 50 percent (7 of 14) from behind the 3-point arc in a 72-66 win.
Kearney, who snaps a three-game losing streak and moves to 2-5 on the season, went on a 10-1 run in the second half - a stretch that gave the Lopers the lead for good. Walker buried a 3-pointer at the 6:54 mark that put Kearney up 55-53, and Austin Luger followed with the next seven points, including a 3 with 3:28 remaining to give the Lopers enough breathing room.
NSU, led by Troy Locke, Obi Agu and Danie Dotson with 11 points each, went up 52-50 on a 3 by Dotson with 9:45 left and led 53-50 after a Dotson free throw at the 8:05 mark before the Lopers made their push.
Walker shot 9 of 20 overall and knocked down a game-best five 3-pointers, and Luger added 18 points on 8 of 16 overall shooting and had Kearney’s other two 3s.
Northeastern State also received double-figure scoring from senior guard Brad Davis, who finished with 10 points. Trey Sampson closed with eight points, and freshman Dillion Bailey followed with seven.
Freshman guard Jaxon Jones, a Tahlequah High School product, played in his second game of the season and scored his first career points. Jones finished with four points, making both of his field goal attempts, pulled down a rebound and had two steals.
NSU shot 47.3 percent overall, but was just 6 of 23 from 3-point range. Davis was 2 of 8 on 3-point attempts, and Dotson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. The RiverHawks were without three players — Kavion Hancock, Rashad Perkins and Caleb Williams. Hancock left the team prior to the contest against Fort Hays State, and Williams, who’s missed the last three games, is out for the season with a torn ACL.
The RiverHawks haven’t found the win column since upsetting then-No. 21 Missouri Southern, 90-89, in Joplin, Missouri on Dec. 3. They return to the NSU Event Center on Dec. 31 when they take on top-ranked Northwest Missouri (3-0).