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UNK MBB: Ichabods Take Only Meeting with the Lopers in 2024

University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

Kearney, Neb. – The Washburn Ichabods got a season-high 20 points from freshman reserve guard Brayden Shorter and tallied 26 points off turnovers to down Nebraska Kearney, 89-68, Saturday evening at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the only meeting between WU (13-6, 9-4) and UNK (5-13, 2-11) this year. The 'Bods have now won eight of the last nine games in the series.

Despite three starters missing some time in the first half due to injury or foul trouble, the Lopers were down just 27-19 with 6:46 left in the half. That's when the 'Bods exploded, going into the locker room after a 20-8 run that featured four points by Shorter and eight from 6-8, 245-pound post Andrew Orr. Shorter came in averaging just 4.9 points per game.

In the opening half, WU controlled the glass as 6-7 Lincoln sophomore Brady Christiansen had 11 of his team's 22 rebounds. He finished with 14 (seven offensive, seven defensive) with the 'Bods recording 16 second chance points thanks to 14 o-boards.  

"We had some possessions (in the first half) where we defended at a good level but then we didn't rebound. I keep telling them if you're not going to defend and rebound at a high level, it's going to be hard to win," said UNK interim head coach Antoine Young. "We can't turn it over 18 times and give up 14 offensive rebounds."

Like in Thursday's loss to Emporia State, the Lopers didn't go away and lost the second half by just a 42-41 margin. UNK made nearly half its second half shots (16 of 33) and out rebounded WU by one, 20-19. However, eight turnovers led to several easy buckets for Washburn.

Orr controlled the paint and totaled a game-high 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting while also having six boards, two blocks, two steals and two assists. Shorter made 7 of 9 shots (4 of 5 threes) and went 2 of 2 at the line to reach his point total. Next, reserves Jake Schadegg and Jack Bachelor had 10 points apiece with Christiansen having 11 points in addition to his board work. Finally, WU made shots 49% from the field including a 10 of 24 effort from downtown.

"We'll show glimpses of (good) defense but then it just drops. You have to be good for 40 minutes in this league," said Young. "Offensively, our ball movement was better tonight. But our guys thrive in transition and if you're not getting stops and giving up o-boards, it puts pressure on you in the half court."

For the Lopers, freshman guard D'Aundre Samuels (Denver) warmed up in the second half and finished with a team-high 16 points and five rebounds while California junior Damiri Lindo shook off foul trouble to provide 11 points, five boards and four assists. Finally, guards Miguel Robles (eight points, two assists) and Bryson Goldsmith (six points, five caroms) had good minutes off the bench.

UNK heads to Northwest Missouri (15-4, 11-2) and Missouri Western (14-5, 8-5) next weekend.