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The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK basketball drops two on the Road in Missouri

Cedric Johnson attempts a reverse layup in a game at home earlier this season


The UNK men’s basketball team struggled on the road January 23 and 25. They took No.2 Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western State down to the wire but lost to the Bearcats 65-60 and to the Griffons 81-75.

 “I am extremely proud of our basketball team,” said head coach Keven Loften. “I felt that we played with some mental toughness, we played hard, smart and together. I feel if we continue to do those things, we will have a successful season.”

The Lopers drew even with NWMS twice but couldn’t close the gap. UNK kept it tight in the first half scoring 27 points compared to the Bearcats 33 points. 

NWMS was outscored by two points in the second but their lead in the first sealed the victory. 

UNK’s leading scorer in the game was AJ Jackson (Bellevue) and Kyle Juhl (Harlan, IA) both dropping in 16 points. Other major contributors were Jake Walker (Centerville, UT) with 11 and R.J. Pair (The Colony, TX) with 9 points. 

“I thought we played hard and smart,” said assistant coach Antonio Young. “We had a few break downs but for the most part, we did a good job on their best player. The guys battled and had a chance to tie it at the end.”

On Saturday the Lopers faced off with MWS. The Griffons looked outmatched with a record of (9-11), but they used their homecourt advantage to pull off the upset. 

To UNK’s credit, they fought till the bitter end in the game, like in most of their losses this season. The Lopers had the game tied at 44 but MWS soon took the lead back and outscored UNK by only 3 in the second half. 

After two made throws by Morgan Soucie (Osawatomie, KS) with 21 seconds left the Lopers trailed 75-73. The Griffons hit their free throws down the stretch and scored six straight points to seal the deal.

Souchie had a terrific game putting down 34 points in his 33 mins of play. Other contributors were Jackson with 12, Walker with 10 and Austin Luger (Alliance) with 6 points. 

“We fought hard and they had us down 11,” said Luger. “We fought back to two points within 20 seconds to go. It could have been anyone’s game we just fell a little short.” 

The Lopers overall field goal percentage was .450 compared to Missouri Western’s .475. 

UNK will play at Fort Hays State (7-11) at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb 1 looking to improve their record to 12-7.

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