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UNK WBB: Lopers Win in Chadron, 71-60


University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

Super senior forward Elisa Backes scored 22 points and Nebraska Kearney led almost from start to finish in a 71-60 win at Chadron State Thursday night.

UNK (4-1) is now 60-13 all-time against the Eagles (0-4) who lost to Wayne State on Wednesday.

The Lopers trailed for just 37 seconds as CSC made the first bucket of the night. A triple from Backes (Salina, Kan.) started a 7-0 run with UNK eventually holding a 13-point cushion midway through the second quarter. However, the Eagles cut the deficit to five before the Lopers regained control to lead 34-25 at the break.

Going 10 for 25 from long range and tallying 22 points of 13 CSC turnovers, the Lopers closed the third quarter on a 14-5 run. The stretch included threes from reserves Meg Burns (Ankeny, Ia.) and Samantha Moore (Mullen) with post Shiloh McCool (Pleasant Hill, Ia.) sinking free throws. That made the score 54-39 with a Backes three starting the final 10 minutes.

Chadron, getting 29 points and 11 rebounds from sophomore forward Ashayla Powers, whittled the deficit in half with five to go and UNK was forced to call timeout. While Powers went 1 of 2 at the line after the break, the Lopers didn't let the Eagles get closer than that the rest of the way.

Backes made a career-high six triples, on 12 attempts, to reach her team-high point total while also having six boards and two assists. McCool (17) was the other Loper in double digits, making 5 of 6 shots and 7 of 9 freebies. She also had a team-best eight boards (six defensive) and two of UNK's five steals. Off the bench, Burns had eight with Moore at six. Finally, Iowa junior point guard Sarah Schmitt got close to a double double (nine assists, eight points). 

UNK was plus three on the glass, committed three fewer turnovers than Chadron and went 13 of 19 at the line. Besides Powell's heroics, the rest of the Eagles were 11 of 33 from the field.

The Lopers head to Colorado School of Mines (2-0) on Saturday night. The Orediggers were picked to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conf. (RMAC) this year.



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