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UNK WBB: Lopers Survive 16 Newman Threes, 81-76

University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

Kearney, Neb. – Graduate forward Shiloh McCool posted her seventh straight double doubles and Nebraska Kearney also got three career-high performances to survive Newman, 81-76, Saturday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center.

The Lopers (17-6, 11-6) sweep the season series from the Jets (2-21, 1-16) and remain in a logjam in the MIAA standings. Missouri Southern and Missouri Western (14-3) are tied for first with UNK one of five teams between 10-12 league victories.

Newman came in shooting just 25% from behind the arc but those numbers went on the window as they made 7 of 18 bombs in the first half and then warmed up to a 9 of 15 effort after the break. Seven different players made at least one with 6-3 freshman reserve Delainey Wylie (4 of 4) and senior guard Amiya Josey (4 of 9) leading the way.

"You have to start taking people out of what they want to do and understand the mode that people are in. Newman is fighting to make the league tourney, so they were going to have to come in and play fast and free," said UNK head coach Drew Johnson. "They obviously made a bunch of shots today. When you're trading two's for three's, they were able to stay in it a long time."

Having four score in double digits and winning the rebounding battle by 22, UNK never trailed and lead by as many as 14 points. That advantage came with 4:41 left, 72-58, and after a three from redshirt junior wing Meg Burns (Ankeny, Ia.).

However, NU promptly hit six treys to rally and force the Lopers to win it from the line. Thankfully, junior guard Jillian Aschoff (Lincoln Pius) and freshman reserve Brinly Christensen (Lincoln SW) went 4 of 4 at the line in the final 13 seconds to keep NU grounded. They missed a three, their only one in the final 4:41, with 24 ticks left that would've made it a one-point game.

"I didn't think we adjusted very well to what they were trying to do and how they were doing it. I also thought our attention to detail on the scout wasn't very good," said Johnson. "We're going to have to be better than that. It's nice to learn those kinds of lessons when you win."

McCool (Pleasant Hill, Ia.) had another workman like performance, having 12 rebounds (10 defensive), 11 points and four assists. She's now up to 31 career doubles with 13 coming this year. Next, Christensen (16), redshirt freshman post Bailee Sobczak (23) and sophomore reserve Macy Bryant (11) each had a career-best point total. Christensen went 6 of 7 at the line and had four buckets, Sobczak was 7 of 15 from the field and 9 of 11 at the line with Bryant having six boards (four offensive) to go along with 4 for 4/3 for 4 shooting.

"We've had some young players like Bailee, Brinly and Macy step up this season," said Johnson. "At the five spot this afternoon, you had 34 points and a bunch of rebounds."

Finally for the Lopers, Aschoff got close to another triple double (eight assists, seven points, seven boards).

Josey had 15 of her team-best 18 points in the first half with fellow starters Amaya Perez (10) and Jaeden McMillin (12) also in double figures. Finally, Wylie (12) was productive in 15 minutes.

UNK heads to MIAA preseason favorite Central Missouri (16-6, 10-6) on Thursday night.