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The Antelope

Bronchos get the best of Lopers on senior day

Brooke Carlson finished the Central Oklahoma game as the leading scorer with 14 points.


UNK-Second meeting with Central Oklahoma turns south in the final game of the regular season. On the road, the Lopers faced trouble in the fourth quarter losing 69-61. 

UNK kept it close in the first half even outscoring the Bronchos in the 2nd quarter. In the end, it didn’t matter as the Lopers trailed 33-32 at the half. 

It was close near the end and UNK had opportunities to tie, but couldn’t seal the win. Brooke Carlson led the Lopers in the paint with 14 points. 

“The game today didn’t turn out as we hoped,” Carlson said. “Give the credit to UCO for coming out on their senior night and battling hard until the end. It was a tough fought game, but UCO did enough of the little things to edge us out. We had opportunities late to cut the lead and potentially tie the game.” 

UNK was shorthanded this game with point guard Haley Simental (Pueblo West, Colorado) only playing eight minutes. 

“We lost a tough game,” said Simental. “We played hard but fell a little short. We rebounded well and defended well, but UCO made more free throws than us and made plays down the stretch. We have some things to improve and we’re hungry to get wins in the MIAA tournament.”

Klaire Kirsch led the team defensively with ten total rebounds and was second in scoring with 12 points.

“I think my team can agree with me that it’s never an effort issue with us,” said Kirsch. “We work hard, and we compete, but sometimes it’s a mental block for us. We are all perfectionists, so it can sometimes be hard to find balance in that when things go wrong in a game.”

The Lopers had the lead briefly in the third quarter at 42-37, but then lost control of it. 

With 6:19 left in the game, UNK tied it back up at 52. UCO’s Kelsey Johnson had two daggers that pulled them back into the lead. 

The Lopers go into the MIAA tournament in Kansas City, Missouri as the third seed. This is a vast improvement from a season ago when they were the eighth seed.

“We are ranked third which is a higher seed than we have had in year’s past,” Kirsch said. “There’s no one else I’d want to go to battle with in Kansas City.” 

They face Missouri Western State, who the Lopers already beat once 60-57 back at the end of January. The game takes place at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, March 6.  

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