Peter Yazvac, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
KEARNEY – The Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball team closed the night on a 36-7 run to beat York College, 82-53, Saturday at the Health & Sports Center.
Returning from the Holiday Break, the Lopers improve to 7-4 and are now 7-1 at home. The Panthers remain at 5-11 as this was an exhibition game per NAIA rules.
York hung around for two and half quarters thanks to seven three pointers, several of the banked variety, and 16 rebounds from reserve Maria Lopez. A three off the glass by starter Amaia Diaz made it 46-40 with 4:33 in the third quarter. That capped a 15-7 Panther run but it was all Kearney from there.
UNK scored 14 of the next 15 points to push its lead back into double digits. This stretch included a three-point play from reserve Elisa Backes (Salina, Kan.), a triple from starting guard Klaire Kirsch (Rapid City, S.D.) and four York turnovers. The Lopers continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter as they made four three pointers and six free throws. Meanwhile, York went 4 of 18 (1 of 7 threes) over the final 10 minutes.
All 13 UNK players got into the scoring column with Backes and sophomore starter Kelsey Sanger (Crofton) tying for the lead at 14 apiece. Sanger also had five steals and four assists with Backes making 5 of 6 shots (3 of 3 threes) while grabbing seven boards.
Next, freshman reserve post Brooke Carlson (Elkhorn) had nine points and four assists, Kirsch had 11 points and five rebounds and freshman starting forward Shiloh McCool (Pleasant Hill, Ia.) got close to a double with nine rebounds and seven points.
York also had a balanced attack and was paced by starting guard Melody Thomsen with 12 points and four assists.
UNK heads to Southwest Baptist (Thurs.) and defending national champion Central Missouri (Sat.) this weekend.