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The Antelope

Four get career highs as Lopers split with Jets

Macy Bryant hooks a shot over a Newman defender during UNK’s 81-76 victory over the Jets. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff

Four Loper players notched career highs to help the UNK basketball teams split with Newman University on Saturday. The women’s team came out on top, 81-76, while the men’s team fell in a heartbreaker, 90-85.

It was underclassmen who stepped up for the Loper women as forwards Bailee Sobczak, Brinly Christensen and Macy Bryant all finished with career-bests in points.

“We know we are going to play some youth,” said UNK coach Drew Johnson. “In big moments, we needed them to step up.”

And step up they did.

Sobczak shined the brightest, tallying 23 points and five rebounds and shooting 9 for 11 on free throws. Christensen added 16 points while Bryant scored 11 and ripped down six rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Jillian Aschoff had a solid all-around game finished with seven points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Johnson was especially pleased with redshirt senior Shiloh McCool’s relentless effort and leadership.

“It feels like Shiloh’s found another mode or another level here late this season,” Johnson said. “She’s so tough and physical and brings everything you want her to bring to the table.”

McCool didn’t have her best shooting performance on the year but notched her seventh-straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds and was key for the Lopers in crunch time.

Newman was just 2-20 coming into Saturday’s matchup with UNK but battled the Lopers to the final whistle. The Jets only made 12 shots from inside the arc but hit 16 3-point shots and nearly erased a 14-point second-half deficit.

The Jets were led by senior guard Amiya Josey with 18 points and four 3-point field goals. Newman freshman Jaeden McMillin and Delainey Wylie each added 12, with Wylie shooting 4 for 4 from deep.

With the victory on Saturday and Thursday’s win over Central Oklahoma, the Lopers stand at 17-6, good for 6th place in the MIAA standings.

For the men, Saturday’s loss drops them to 5-17 on the season. They have lost 12 consecutive games and 14 straight conference matchups.

32 points from junior guard Taden King were not enough, as UNK couldn’t get enough stops late to keep up with the Jets.

“You can’t give up 90 every night,” said men’s coach Antoine Young. “You’ve got to find a way to get a stop and you’ve got to find a way to win your matchup.”

Young was pleased with his team’s defensive effort in Thursday’s loss to Central Oklahoma but said that they lacked that intensity on Saturday.

King led UNK in points, scoring 16 of his 32 in the first four minutes of the game. Freshman guard D’Aundre Samuels tacked on 16 points and dished out eight assists and junior guard Sean Evans tallied seven points, five assists and seven rebounds.

The Lopers shot 48.4% from the field but were outrebounded and gave up 14 3-pointers.

“We gave up threes to guys who could shoot threes,” Young said. “Usually when you give up threes to guys who shoot threes, they hit them.”

Newman was commanded by junior guard Stevie Strong, who had 25 points to go with seven assists and carried the Jets offense in the second half. Guards Jacob Joe and Latik Murphy combined to hit nine three-pointers.

UNK will travel to Central Missouri on Thursday and Lincoln University on Saturday. The Lopers return home to play Missouri Southern on Feb. 22.

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