KEARNEY — University of Nebraska at Kearney guard Shiloh McCool drove to the basket late in the fourth quarter and made layup while being fouled.
McCool completed the 3-point play and gave the Lopers some breathing room in a 61-45 victory Colorado at Colorado Springs, effectively putting the game out of reach.
At the time of McCool’s basket, UNK led by five and the Mountain Lions were charging, trying to get back into the game after trailing by 17 late in the first half.
“It was important not to give up the lead,” UNK coach Carrie Eighmey said. “I think they cut it to five or six. ... It was really important for us to stave them off there and kind of shut that momentum off.
“I thought our team did a good job there three possessions in a row. We were able to get the ball to Shiloh. Shiloh made some really good decisions with the ball and was able to get to the free-throw line.”
The Lopers put the game out of reach on their ensuing possession as freshman Meagan Holt buried one of her three 3-pointers. Holt finished the game with 11 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
As a team, the Lopers made 10 of 20 3s. Something that made Eighmey happy.
“Our 3-point shooting was huge tonight. We have capable shooters and I’ve been saying that,” Eighmey said. “We knew they were going to challenge us to make some. They packed it in the paint and see if we would. We had some different players knock them down and that helped to open up things around the basket in the end.”
UNK dominated the first half, sprinting out to a 33-19 halftime lead.
The Lopers went 6 of 9 from behind the arc and held UCCS to just 38 percent from the field.
The tide, however, turned in the second half as the Mountain Lions started pressuring the Lopers’ offense.
UCCS started the fourth quarter with 7-1 run. The run was highlighted by a Tatum Tellin 3-pointer.
The Lopers didn’t come out of the game unscathed as sophomore guard Adreon Bell exited with a shoulder injury late in third quarter.
Despite playing just 23 minutes, Bell scored a game-high 13 points.
“Adreon was really, really good in a lot of different ways for us tonight. Defensively she was solid. Offensively she was setting up people, distributing the ball and getting people great shots. When she went down, that was a key moment for us,” said Eighmey.
UNK will be back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Manhattan Christian (Kansas) at 5:30 p.m. at the Health and Sports Center.
Lopers never trail in victory over Chadron State
Freshman forward Shiloh McCool had another double double and sophomore guard Kelsey Sanger scored a game-high 19 points as the University of Nebraska at Kearney defeated Chadron State, 72-52, Saturday night at the UNK Health & Sports Center.
The game was part of the UNK Crossover Tournament. Fort Hays State downed Colorado-Colorado Springs, 80-52, in the early game.
UNK never trailed Chadron and started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to open up an 8-point lead. The advantage never dipped below five the rest of the night and got as big as 21 points.
UNK took advantage of 24 Eagle turnovers and turned them into 29 points. The Lopers also outscored Chadron State 38-26 in the paint.
McCool, who netted 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, sparked that second-quarter rally, scoring five of teh seven points.
Sanger slashed her way to a game-high 19 points by making 8 of 14 shots.
Senior post Jaymie Bernbeck and freshman guard Klaire Kirsch had nine points apiece.