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The Antelope

The Antelope

    Poor shooting and defense doom Lopers against Fort Hays State

    UNK basketball player driving to the hoop


    UNK men’s basketball dropped its third game in a row against Fort Hays State Saturday in Hays, Kansas. The Tigers had three players in double figures and had 24 bench points in a 69-56 victory.

    “I felt that Hayes got a lot of points off dribble penetration which led to layups, wide open three pointers and free throws,” head coach Kevin Lofton said. “We just didn’t defend at a high enough level to win today.”

    The Lopers started the game off on a 7-0 run earlier on, thanks to a jumper and three-pointer by Morgan Soucie (Osawatomie, KS) and a layup by AJ Jackson (Bellevue).

    FHS answered back with a seven-point run of their own, fueled by five straight points by Calvin Harrington.

    Kyle Juhl gave the Lopers their last lead of the game with a field goal that extended the lead to 9-7.

    With the scored tied at 11-11 with 11:49 in the first half, the Tigers got a three from Perry Carroll off the assist from Jake Hutchings.

    A 9-0 run by FHS, capped off by another three from Carrol put the Tigers ahead by double digits for the first time at 23-13.

    Chase Winchester (DeSoto, TX) hit his first three of the game to make it 25-18 with 6:45 in the first half. FHS quickly came back with a jumper by Jared Vitzum and Harrington.

    Right before halftime, Austin Luger (Alliance) hit a three-pointer to bring the deficit back to single digits. Going into the locker room, the Tigers had a 37-28 advantage over UNK.

    In the second half, FHS continued their dominant showing from the first. A jumper by Devin Davis gave the Tigers their biggest lead at 47-30.

    In the end, the deficit was too insurmountable for the Lopers to come back from.

    “I felt Hayes did a really good job defending today, that being said we were still able to get some open looks we just didn’t convert enough of them to make a difference,” Lofton said.

    The main contributor to UNK’s struggle was their inability to make three-pointers. They were 29.4% from behind the arch in the game and just 1-6 in the second half.

    Leading scorers for the Lopers were seniors Jackson with 23 points and Soucie with 14 points.

    UNK (12-8) looks to break their three-game skid at home against Central Oklahoma (7-15) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

    “We just need to get back to being who we want to be. A mentally tough and gritty team that plays hard, that plays smart, and plays together,” Lofton said. “When we do that, we can beat anyone.”

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