Tight Game Goes to Bearcats
Kearney, Neb. – The Northwest Missouri State men's basketball team rallied to force overtime and then got a big effort from senior guard DeShaun Cooper to defeat Nebraska-Kearney, 73-69 , Thursday night at the Health & Sports Center.
The Bearcats (9-5, 4-1) have won five of its last six games while the Lopers (4-8, 2-5) lose at home for only the second time all year.
In a game with 14 ties and 11 lead changes. Kearney was up 61-55 with 2:26 left in regulation, matching its biggest lead of the night. However, Northwest senior guard Bryston Williams scored eight points in less than a minute to give the ‘Cats the lead back. This stretch featured two threes by Williams (game-high 20 points).
UNK tied the game at 63 on a jumper by Ravenna sophomore Conner Beranek with 52 seconds left. After Cooper missed two field goal attempts, Kearney had a chance to win it. But, the Lopers turned the ball over with two seconds left and Northwest couldn't get a shot off, sending the game into extra time.
Never trailing in overtime, Northwest grabbed the lead for good on a three-point play by the 5-8 and ultra –quick Cooper (14 points and six assists). He then added another driving layup and assisted on a three by Bryston to give Northwest a 71-66 cushion with 2:06 left.
Soon after, UNK was down three but went 1 of 4 at the line with around a minute to go. Then, a potential game-tying three by junior Tyler Shields (Kearney H.S.) didn't find the bottom of the net with 24 seconds to go and a made free throw by Tyler Funk ended the scoring.
Omaha senior post Mike Dentlinger paced the Lopers by scoring 18 points on 7 of 13 field goal shooting. Beranek added 15 points and seven rebounds with Norfolk forward Ethan Brozek supplying nine rebounds and eight points off the bench.
UNK out rebounded Northwest by nine, 39-30, but made six fewer threes and had five more turnovers.
Besides Williams and Cooper, the ‘Cats got 15 points from lefty Conner Crooker and 11 points and four boards from post Dillon Starzl.
Kearney is at Hastings College Sunday afternoon.
Courtesy UNK Sports Information