UNK men’s basketball falls at home to Missouri Southern State
KEARNEY, Neb. (Press Release) - The Missouri Southern State Lions shot 53 percent from the field and went 11 of 17 from three-point range to defeat Nebraska-Kearney, 87-75, Saturday evening at the Health & Sports Center.
The Lions improve to 9-7 (6-4) and down the Lopers (7-11, 3-9) for a fifth straight time. This was the only game between the two this winter.
MSSU recorded 44 of its points in the paint, had a plus 14 rebounding margin, was efficient from downtown and pulled away from UNK after leading 37-35 at the break. Six-four Division I transfer Stan Scott (Oakland U., Mich.) went for 25 points with 6-5 junior wing Christian Bundy at 22 points. Scott made 11 of 22 shots and also grabbed 17 rebounds with Bundy making 10 of 12 shots. Southern Illinois transfer Avery Taggart (17 points, seven assists and five rebounds) also was a big factor in the win.
”We got hit by a buzzsaw (to start the second half). They had eight threes in the second half and went through a stretch where they couldn’t miss,” said UNK head coach Kevin Lofton. “The only frustrating thing is Taggart got four threes and we knew he was a good shooter. A defender was right there but we were also a step slow at times and have to do a better job of making him bounce it. They were tremendous on the glass as well.”
Alliance senior Austin Luger knocked down one of his five triples to briefly give UNK a 38-37 lead to start the second half. However, the Lions responded with a 13-3 run that featured back-to-back Taggart threes. UNK didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the night.
UNK had another solid night from long distance (14 of 31) with Iowa redshirt junior reserve Parker Badding going 4 of 6 and Colorado freshman Sean Evans and Colorado grad transfer David Simental at two treys apiece. Luger and Simental both went for 19 points with the Lopers ending up 28 of 63 from the field (44%).
”We’re leading the MIAA in three-point team percentage. We let our guys take it when they are open,” said Lofton. “Now we got to find a way to get stops at the other end. Find a way to dig in and stop the consecutive scores or stop the threes.”
The Lopers host Fort Hays State next Saturday and then Lincoln on Jan. 31 (Mon.) in a makeup game from January.
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