UNK Women’s basketball team takes care of Peru State

The Lopers put up 100 in their victory over the Bobcats
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 12:54 AM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Twelve different players got into the scoring column and Nebraska-Kearney shot 57 percent from the field to roll past Peru State, 100-56, Wednesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the Lopers (2-1) home opener while the Bobcats remain at 5-4. Per NAIA rules, this was an exhibition game for them.

To reach the Century mark for just the 27th time in program history, UNK made 38 of 67 shots including a 7 of 14 effort from behind the arc. The Lopers also sunk 17 free throws and outscored Peru 54-18 in the paint.

Things were close, however, early on as the ‘Cats trailed by only a 20-16 score after the opening quarter and by a four-point margin late in the first half. However, UNK closed on a on an 9-2 run to grab its first double digit lead, 43-32, and never looked back.

“Defensively, early on, we got off to a slow start. I thought we gave up some easy stuff … just some shots and things we knew that were their strengths,” said UNK head coach Carrie Eighmey. “At halftime we were able to fix those things and we were much better in the second half.

South Dakota senior wing Klaire Kirsch got close to another double double (19 points & eight rebounds) despite logging just 25 minutes. The point total was just two off her career high as she made 8 of 11 shots and grabbed six offensive caroms. Next, Iowa redshirt sophomore forward Shiloh McCool was close to a double double as well (16 points & eight rebounds). The reserve was 7 of 8 from the field, had four o-boards and fell five shy of her career-best point total.

“Offensively we were pretty steady all night and once (the lead) got to 20 I felt good,” said Eighmey. “We were then able to get some younger players in there to get some game experience. We’ve got a deep bench and they were ready to go and were well prepared.”

Plus 13 on the glass and scoring 31 points off 20 Peru turnovers, UNK also got 10 points and seven assists from Iowa redshirt sophomore point guard Sarah Schmitt with South Dakota true freshman Alayna Benike seeing her first collegiate action and scoring eight points in seven minutes. Finally, Colorado graduate forward Grace O’Neill had six points, six boards and two blocks in 14 minutes off the bench.

Peru saw freshman Libby Baumert and Lycia Peevy tally 14 apiece.

The Lopers face 8th-ranked Colorado School of Mines (2-0) Saturday at 2 p.m. The Orediggers host Eastern New Mexico Thursday before making the trip out.

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