Peter Yazvac, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
KEARNEY – Redshirt sophomore reserve Shiloh McCool had another big game and No. 5 Nebraska-Kearney held Northwest Missouri State to 19 percent shooting to roll to a 59-35 win Saturday afternoon at the Health & Sports Center.
The Lopers (10-0) are off to the third best start in school history with Carrie Eighmey recording her 100th win as UNK head coach. She is now 100-57 in her sixth year; her overall head coach mark stands at 168-88 over nine seasons.
“I had no idea I was close to 100 … it’s not something I pay close attention to. I always tell our team my career is over and it’s not about my wins. It’s about their experience and what they are able to accomplish,” Eighmeysaid.
Kearney flashed its usual tough defense, stifling the Bearcats (4-7) to 12 of 62 from the field including 3 of 25 from behind the arc. Northwest was held to single digits in three quarters and becomes the second straight Loper opponent held under 38 points. Crofton senior Kelsey Sanger and South Dakota junior Klaire Kirsch shut down the ‘Cats top two scoring options, Molly Hartnett and Mallory McConkey, to the tune of 5 of 29 (0 of 5 threes) from the field.
“Defensively we were really good. They have the potential to score a lot of points … they have some kids that can shoot it and drive to the basket,” Eighmey said. “Our team continues to buy in at defending and rebounding at a high level and letting that carry us.”
UNK led by as many as 28 points and for 38 minutes. They were plus 14 on the glass, got 36 points in the paint and had 11 different players in the score. McCool (Pleasant Hill, Ia.) tallied a team-best 14 points 6 of 11 shooting. The forward also had four rebounds in 19 minutes and has now reached double digits in three of the last four games.
Next, junior reserve forward Elisa Backes (Salina, Kan.) found McCool several times for easy layups and ended with nine points, seven boards and five dimes with sophomore reserve guard Trinity Law (Brandon, S.D.) at six points and two assists. Among the starters Elkhorn junior Brooke Carlson had eight rebounds and six points in 16 minutes.
Hartnett tallied eight points, grabbed five boards and had three assists to lead the Bearcats.
“Klaire and Kelsey are both really good defenders and kind of lead us that way. They take a lot of pride in it and draw the other team’s toughest offensive players every night,” Eighmey said. “They want the assignment. It was a task today because those players were physical and take a lot of shots.
UNK heads to Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern State next week.