UNK women’s basketball earns first home win under Johnson

Local4 News at 10
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:42 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (Press Release) - The Nebraska Kearney women’s basketball team hit 12 second half three pointers and 12 different players scored in a 105-35 win over Central Christian (Kans.) College Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the start of a four-game home stand for the Lopers (3-0) who face Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday (Nov. 18), the College of Saint Mary next Wednesday (Nov. 22) and Chadron State (Nov. 25) right after Thanksgiving.

The Tigers (2-2), from McPherson, Kan., didn’t use its top two players (combined 34.6 points per game) tonight as this was an exhibition per NAIA rules. Thus, they suited up just eight players but battled early, trailing 18-8 after the first period and 43-22 at the break.

“We celebrate every home win, and it was nice to win in front of the home crowd,” said first-year head coach Drew Johnson. “It took a second for us to settle in, but I thought we played hard and represented ourselves really well.”

Having the 28th 100-point game in school-history, UNK wore down the CCC in the second half to the tune of a 62-13 margin. The offensive tally included 12 of 22 three-point shooting (55%) with the defense taking advantage of 19 turnovers and limiting the Tigers to a 2 of 19 effort from the field.

“One of the question marks coming into the season was what are we going to get from our inexperienced players?”, said Johnson. “As for right now, we’ve gotten a lot of good performances from that group. Some of the young kids needed to see the ball go in and that got a chance to see that tonight. We think we’re pretty deep and can play a big rotation.”

The 105 points ties for the 14th most in Loper lore with the 15 made triples tied for the fourth most and the highest tally in four years. Finally, the margin of victory is the sixth highest in school-history.

Iowa super senior forward Shiloh McCool got closer to a double double (14 points, nine rebounds, four assists) with fellow post Kia Wilson (14 points, six rebounds) having a productive 16 minutes of work. Next, Kansas freshman reserve forward Jordan Sears hit four treys in the fourth quarter to score a team-high 16 with Lincoln freshman Brinly Christensen at 10 points, four boards, three dimes and two steals. Finally, reserves Lexi Moes (Smithville, Mo.) and Bailee Sobczak (Rapid City, S.D.) combined for 17 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in just 26 minutes.

“We shot it really well after that not being the case in the first half. Once we got going and settled in, we started to have a little bit better movement against their zone,” said Johnson. “We have the confidence to make it and we shot a good percentage this past weekend in Minnesota.”

Kylee Jones paced CCC with 12 points and two boards.

UNK hosts NWU on Saturday at 2 p.m. as part of “Alumni Day” with the men battling Chadron State at 4 p.m.

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