RPAC Basketball Tournament continues this week. View Updated Bracket.
La JUNTA, Colo. – The McCook Community College Lady Indians opened up Region IX play Friday with an 85-73 road win over Otero Junior College.
“Tonight was another test for us and a gut check moment as Otero came out on their home floor and really started hot, scoring 22 points in the first quarter but my team responded so well,” MCC Coach Kellen Fernetti said.
The Lady Indians were able to get things going in the second and third period before getting up by 20 points in the fourth quarter and finishing off the Rattlers for the win.
“We outscored Otero 54-26 in the middle two quarters and that was huge.” Fernetti said. “I’m very proud of the team and now we have another tough one tomorrow at Trinidad State.”
Sophomore Sam Hinkle, (Rifle Colo.) led MCC with 27 points.
Freshman Lena Goerke (Hamburg, Germany) scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Sophomore Anna Sanjuan, (Reus, Spain) scored 13 points and sophomore Hailey Tiles (Rogers, Ark.) chipped in 12.
Fernetti said freshman Makenna Bodette (Colorado Springs) had a big night on the boards although she was only credited with eight rebounds.
The Lady Indians also got things going from the 3-point line making 11 shots from distance.
“This is a tough trip and OJC is a tough place to play and getting a win here is big for us,” Fernetti said.
Otero falls to 9-7 on the season.
The Lady Indians, improve to 12-5 and continue with the second of a four-game road swing through Region IX taking on Trinidad State Saturday. The road-swing continues Tuesday at Scottsbluff against Western Nebraska and on Friday at Sterling, Colo., against Northeastern Junior College before returning home Jan. 28 to host North Platte.
La JUNTA, Colo. – The McCook Community College men dropped their Region IX opener Friday 85-78 to Otero Junior College.
The Rattlers led 38-35 at the half but the Indians fought back to take the lead at 43-40, 52-50, and 68-67 before OJC scored seven straight points and took over the game in the final stages of the second half.
“It was a four-point game with two minutes left, Otero just made big plays down the stretch,” MCC Coach Brandon Lenhart said.
The Indians missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw that could have cut the deficit to two points, but after the miss, OJC made a layup on the other end to lead 76-70 and never trailed.
“We fought to the very end tonight, we really did,” Lenhart said. “We played really hard and had the will to win. We just didn’t make enough plays down the stretch.”
Sophomore Peanut Cunningham (Louisville, Kent.) led MCC in scoring with 17 points. Freshman Mardrez McBride (Augusta, Ga.) scored 15. Freshman Tyrek Battle-Holley (Jersey City, N.J.) scored 14 points and freshman Miles Black (Jonesboro, Ga.) added 10 points.
Sophomore Ron Rice (New York, N.Y.) led the Indians on the boards with six and added nine points. The Indians edged the Rattlers in rebounds 33-32
The Indians shot 44.0 percent from the floor in the first half and 52.8 percent for the second half but after making seven of 13 first-half shots from beyond the 3-point arc (53.8 percent) cooled off to four of 16 (25 percent) in the second half.
Otero matched the Indians from the floor in the first half (11 of 25 field goals for 44.0 percent) then heated up to 14 of 25 in the second half (56 percent). The Rattlers made it to the free-throw line 37 times compared to 15 for MCC and made 30 (for 81.1) while the Indians made seven (46.7 percent) and only took two second half foul shots.
Otero improves to 13-3 overall, 6-1 at home and 1-1 in conference play.
“Otero is a good team, but I’m proud of our team, having two days after Air Force Prep, we really came out tough,” Lenhart said. “We have a lot to build on moving forward.”
The Indians fall to 7-9 and continue with the second of a four-game road swing through Region IX at Trinidad Saturday, then at Western Nebraska Tuesday and at Northeastern Junior College Friday.
“I saw the eye of some tigers tonight and I hadn’t seen this type of intensity out of this group like I saw tonight,” Lenhart said. “If we can keep that we will have a chance to succeed in this league.”
Kearney, NE – The Tri-City Storm dropped the first game of a two game season series to the Muskegon Lumberjacks tonight at the Viaero Center by a final score of 3-2. After falling behind 3-0 in the 2nd period, Tri-City netted two 3rd period goals but was unable to tie the game to forcer overtime. Brendan Budy and Connor McMenamin scored the Storm’s goals in Friday’s home loss to Muskegon. In the loss, Tri-City dropped to 2nd place in the USHL league standings and will host league leading Muskegon again tomorrow night at the Viaero Center. With a win tomorrow, Tri-City would retake Muskegon for the top spot in the league standings. Puck drop for tomorrow’s Storm home game is set for 7:05pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.stormhockey.com or by calling 308-338-8144.
Muskegon got on the board halfway through the 1st period on a goal from Cam McDonald at the 9:32 mark of the period. McDonalds goal was unassisted and put the Lumberjacks out in front 1-0. Muskegon outshot Tri-City 12-9 in the 1st period and carried a 1-0 lead into the 2ndperiod. Muskegon scored its 2nd goal of the game less than four minutes into the 2nd period to increase the lead to two goals. Alex Gaffney’s goal scored at 3:43 of the 2nd period was his 9th of the year and was assisted by Owen Farris. Alex Yakovenko netted his 11thgoal of the season in the final minute of the period to push the Muskegon lead to three goals. Yakovenko’s goal at 19:13 of the 2nd period was assisted by Egor Afanasyev, and gave the Lumberjacks a 3-0 lead. Muskegon outshot Tri-City 9 to 8 in the 2nd period.
The Storm got on the board at 11:52 of the 3rd period on Brendan Budy’s 3rd career goal. Budy’s 3rd period goal marked his 3rd consecutive game soring a goal, and the even strength marker brought the Storm back within two goals of the Lumberjacks lead. Zac Jones recorded his 21st assist of the 2018-2019 regular season on the goal. Tri-City added an additional goal at 18:35 of the 3rd period to cut the Muskegon lead to only one. Captain Connor McMenamin scored his 11th goal of the season off of a faceoff win from Brendan Budy and a shot from Ronnie Attard that created a rebound and scoring chance in front of Lumberjacks goaltender Brandon Bussi. The Storm outshout the Lumberjacks 14-2 in the 3rd period but fell by a final score of 3-2. Isaiah Saville made 20 saves on 23 shots in net for Tri-City. Tonight’s game marked only the 2nd time this season Tri-City has dropped back to back games.
Two more McCook Community College sophomores are moving on to play volleyball in the fall. Sophomores Brooklyn Evans and Haley Jacobsen will be teammates at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo.
The duo signed their letters of intent Friday afternoon in a joint ceremony, although the two didn’t realize they were interested in the same college until later in the school search process.
“I guess what sold me on Missouri Valley College was the family-vibe I felt when I visited,” Evans said.
When Jacobsen visited campus she said noticed right away that having a men’s volleyball added a whole additional layer of energy to the sport she’s always loved.
“I was a great experience and the best opportunity for me to go to a school where I can compete, have fun and learn,” Jacobsen said.
Located in Marshall, Mo., Missouri Valley University is an NAIA school competing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Vikings volleyball team went 14-17 this past season.
Evans and Jacobsen become the fifth and sixth players among the seven sophomores who have signed on with four-year programs to continue their college volleyball careers.
These players were part of a sophomore squad helping lead the Lady Indians to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time this century and also helped MCC capture its first Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference Championship in 38 years and finished the season at 21-14, which included wins against two top-20 ranked opponents.
Evans is a 5-7 libero from Ogden, Utah, who converted from setter after her freshman season.
Evans, named co-captain in August, played in 35 matches for the Lady Indians leading the team in digs wit 321 (2.43 percent). That total ranked ninth among players in the Region IX South Division. She also had 98 assists (10th most in the division) and 37 service aces (ranked 11th in the region).
She will continue playing her libero/defensive position for the Vikings.
At MCC, Evans said she loved all the opportunities to help develop her leadership skills both on and off the court.
She is a nursing student who is interested in pursuing emergency room opportunities.
Jacobsen is a 5-9 middle blocker/right side hitter from Chatfield High School in Littleton Colo., who played in 25 matches for the Lady Indians where she had 78 kills, 41 digs, and 50 total blocks. Her blocks per set (0. 66) was 11th best in among players competing in the Region IX South Division.
At Missouri Valley College, she expects to continue playing right side where she spent most of her time this past season.
She knows she’s going to miss her coach and teammates.
At MCC she’s majoring in business and is interested in a career in human resources.
Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball team fought hard Thursday night, but the Huskers could not overcome their worst shooting night of the season in a 70-64 loss to No. 6 Michigan State at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Despite shooting just 32.8 percent from the field and hitting only 5-of-26 from the 3-point line, Nebraska was within striking distance in a game that featured 11 lead changes and six ties. The game was tied at 44 with 9:43 remaining, but Michigan State responded with a 7-0 run and never relinquished the lead.
The loss snapped Nebraska’s school-record-tying 20-game home winning streak, as the Huskers dropped to 13-5 on the season and 3-4 in Big Ten Conference play. James Palmer Jr. led the Huskers with 24 points and eight rebounds, and the senior went 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. Isaac Copeland Jr. added 13 points in his 100th career start, while Thomas Allen chipped in nine points and Glynn Watson Jr. had eight.
Cassius Winston led Michigan State with a career-high 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Behind Winston, the Spartans (16-2 overall, 7-0 Big Ten) won their 11th straight game, set a school record with their 19th consecutive regular-season Big Ten Conference win and extended their school record with their 11th consecutive Big Ten road win.
Michigan State used the play of Winston and Nick Ward to take a 33-28 lead into the locker room, marking the first time the Huskers had trailed at halftime at home this season. Winston had 16 first-half points and three assists, while Ward added nine points and six rebounds. Copeland led NU with nine first-half points, but Nebraska shot just 28 percent from the field.
Nebraska trailed 15-11 before Watson keyed an 8-0 spurt with a pair of 3-pointers, the second of which gave the Huskers a 19-15 lead with 10:51 left in the first half. MSU responded with five straight points to regain the lead before Allen answered with a three to put NU on top 22-20. The Huskers stretched the lead to four on an Allen basket with 4:47 to play in the half, but that was the last field goal Nebraska would make in the half, as the Spartans closed the half on an 11-2 run, scoring the final seven points of the period to take a five-point lead at the half.
In the second half, Nebraska used a 6-0 run to grab a 36-35 lead five minutes into the period. Michigan State answered by scoring seven of the next nine points but the Huskers again fought back, tying the game at 44 on a pair of Palmer free throws with less than 10 minutes to play. But Michigan State put the game away with a 16-4 run over the next eight minutes, building a 60-48 advantage with 1:50 to play.
Nebraska did not give up, trimming the lead to as little as four at 68-64 with 14 second remaining, but Michigan State hit 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal their 11th consecutive win. In all, MSU went 16-of-18 from the foul line in the win.
The Huskers return to action on Monday night, as Nebraska travels to Rutgers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (central) and will be carried on BTN and the Husker Sports Network.
Champaign - Ashtyn Veerbeek erupted for a career-high 19 points to lead four Huskers in double figures as Nebraska powered its way to a 77-67 Big Ten women's basketball road win at Illinois on Thursday night at the State Farm Center.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 3-3 in the Big Ten and 7-9 overall, while Illinois slipped to 1-5 in the conference and 9-8 overall.
Veerbeek, whose previous career high was 14 points, matched her career best through three quarters and pumped in five straight points including Nebraska's biggest shot of the night with a three-pointer with 1:39 left to push Nebraska's lead to 69-59. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, added eight rebounds and a block to propel the Huskers to their second Big Ten road win of the year.
Hannah Whitish, who finished with 12 points and seven assists without a turnover, helped the Huskers seal the win with four free throws in the final 1:30, while Leigha Jones and Taylor Kissinger each pitched in 10 points. Kate Cain added strong contributions with eight points and seven rebounds, while Sam Haiby added seven points, two assists and three steals off the bench.
Kayla Mershon, a freshman from Chanhassen, Minn., helped the Huskers get a win in her first career start by knocking down a first-half three and sealing the victory with Nebraska's final two points of the night at the line.
The Huskers, who led by as many as 14 points in both the first and fourth quarters, saw the Illini cut the margin to seven points with 2:35 left in the game, before Veerbeek buried a three to change the complexion of the game in the final two minutes.
It was Veerbeek's lone three of the contest and Nebraska's seventh of the game. The Huskers hit 31.8 percent of their threes (7-22), while Nebraska hit 47.2 percent (25-53) of its shots overall, while knocking down 20-of-28 (.714) of its free throws. NU forced 17 turnovers by Illinois and turned those into 15 points. Nebraska committed just 12 turnovers in the contest.
Illinois freshman Aerial Scott scored a career-high 23 points, including 4-of-9 threes, to keep the Illini within striking distance throughout the game after falling behind 19-5 midway through the first quarter. Alex Wittinger added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Cierra Rice pitched in 11 points off the bench.
For the game, Illinois hit 39.1 percent (25-64) of its shots, including 29.2 percent (7-24) from three-point range. The Illini knocked down just 10-of-17 free throws, but out-rebounded the Huskers 40-32 on the night. However, Illinois was only able to convert 15 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points, while the Huskers got nine points of their five offensive boards on the night.
Nebraska jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead and built its biggest lead at 19-5 after Whitish's second three-pointer with 3:25 left in the quarter. But the Illini heated up and cut the margin to 25-17 at the end of the quarter, despite six straight points from Brown to end the period for the Big Red.
The Huskers pushed the margin back to 12 points at 32-20 after a Mershon three with 5:57 left, but Illinois closed out the quarter strong to cut the deficit to 36-29 at the half.
Nebraska hit 48.3 percent (14-29) of its first-half shots, including 5-of-14 threes (.357), after shooting 62.5 percent (10-16) in the first quarter, including 66.7 percent (4-6) from long range. The Huskers committed just four turnovers in the half, while forcing five by the Illini that Nebraska turned into seven points. Brown and Veerbeek led the Big Red with eight first-half points apiece, while Kissinger added seven and Whitish six.
The Fighting Illini were held to 35.3 percent (12-34) shooting, including 3-of-13 threes (.231). Illinois also went just 2-for-6 at the free throw line. Scott led Illinois with 12 points off the bench in the half, including a pair of threes. The Illini did out-rebound Nebraska, 21-18, in the half.
Huskers return to Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Sunday to square off with No. 23 Minnesota. Tip-off between the Big Red and Golden Gophers is set for 5 p.m., and tickets are available now at Huskers.com.