ST. JOSEPH – Almost four years to the day that Nebraska Kearney handed then No. 5-ranked Missouri Western women’s basketball team its first loss of the season, the Lopers (19-2, 8-2) became the first team this season to defeat the Griffons (14-4, 6-3) in the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The lead changed 10 times and the game was tied eight times with UNK edging out the Griffons 60-57. An old fashioned 3-point play by Anastacia Johnson with 47 seconds pulled the Griffons within two, 59-57. After two scoreless possessions by each team, UNK’s Kelsey Sanger made the second of two free throw attempts with three seconds to go. Kylee Williams tried to give Missouri Western the win at the buzzer, but her 3-point attempt was blocked by Elisa Backes.
– Neither team led for long and UNK’s eight-point lead with 7:37 left in the first quarter was the largest of the game for either team.
– Despite UNK shooting 50% in the first quarter and MWSU shooting just 27%, MWSU trailed by five after the first quarter.
– Combined, the teams went 5 for 29 from 3-point range with MWSU scoring 38 of its points in the paint and UNK scoring 36 in the lane.
– Johnson scored a career-high 20 points with six rebounds and three steals.
– Corbyn Cunningham recorded her fourth straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She added four steals.
– Missouri Western totaled 12 steals on 17 UNK turnovers, but points off turnovers were even with each team scoring 13.
Missouri Western hits the road for two, beginning with a trip to Central Oklahoma on Jan. 30. The Bronchos (14-4, 8-2) had their five game winning streak end at Washburn, Thursday night and will play at Emporia State, Sunday.
— MWSU Athletics —