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Pittsburg State spoils Senior Day

Traeton Harimon
UNK’s Halle Duft and Shiloh McCool get set on defense during the Loper’s 85-57 loss to Pittsburg State Saturday.

The Loper basketball teams honored their seniors on Saturday afternoon, welcoming in Pittsburg State for Senior Day. The women fell 85-57, while the men lost 90-64.

The Pittsburg State women, who are 5th in the MIAA in three point percentage, jumped on the Lopers early thanks to a flurry of three’s. They made four of their first five three’s in the first quarter. Redshirt sophomore guard Jillian Aschoff kept the Lopers in it early, scoring 10 points in the first.

Pittsburg State continued to build their lead throughout the second quarter going on a 13-3 run, at one point being up by 16 at the midway point of the period. The Lopers struggled to score at the end of the half, going 1-14 over their last 14 shots at the end of the half, and the Gorillas shot a blistering 52 percent from the field in the first half, and led UNK 45-26 at the break.

The Lopers went scoreless for almost six minutes from the end of the second into the third. From there, both teams would put in some bench players to finish the game and Pittsburg State cruised to an 85-57 victory.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and find out what’s going on,” coach Drew Johnson said postgame on KRVN. “You’d like to play your best basketball right now, and it is disappointing to feel like you’re not. It’s two poor performances, and we’re not going to be able to give up 85 and win.”

The Gorillas had five different players score in double figures, with the Lopers only having two. Pittsburg State shot over 50 percent from the field, and made 11 three’s. UNK was led in scoring by Aschoff who scored 12 points, while redshirt fifth year Shiloh McCool scored a season low in eight points.

The Loper men got off to a nice start over the third ranked team in the conference, thanks to a plethora of offensive rebounds. The Lopers had four offensive rebounds in the first ten minutes of the first half. Freshman D’Aundre Samuels scored eight of his team’s first 14 points. They ended up having eight offensive rebounds in the first half, compared to only one for the Gorillas and trailed 35-31 at the half.

Pittsburg State would come out firing in the second half, going on a 13-0 run and a 23-4 run dating back to the first half to suddenly be up by 21. They shot 7-8 to start the second half to gain the separation. From there, they continued to add on and gain separation, and rolled to an easy second half victory winning 90-64. It marked the 10th time this season where the Lopers have given up 90 or more.

“I don’t understand how you can play so well in the first half, and then come out and play like that in the second half,” interim coach Antoine Young said postgame on KRVN. “These guys have been playing a lot of minutes so maybe that (fatigue) could be an issue.”

The Gorillas had six players score in double figures. They shot an incredible 60 percent from the field, including 70 percent in the second half. The Lopers were led by Samuels who finished with 17 points. Winston Cook in his final home game as a Loper scored 11 points. UNK only dressed eight players for the game.

The Loper women fall to 18-9, while the men fall to 5-21. Both teams will wrap up the regular season Friday at Fort Hays State.

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Jon Willis, Reporter
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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