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Loper women hand Griffons second loss
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Loper women hand Griffons second loss

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Point guard Haley Simental and forward Elisa Backes tallied 16 points apiece and post Brooke Carlson recorded a double-double to help No. 16 University of Nebraska at Kearney defeat No. 22 Missouri Western, 60-48, Thursday night in St. Joseph, Missouri.

The Lopers (13-2, 8-1) beat the Griffons (12-2, 6-2) for a fifth straight time and also handed Missouri Western its second home loss of the year.

UNK shut down the MIAA’s top offense as the Griffs came in averaging 80.2 points per game. They had their second-lowest output of the season as they finished 17 of 53 from the field, which included a 1-of-11 effort from behind the arc.

Leading for nearly 27 minutes, UNK was up 29-27 early in the second half when it went on a 5-0 mini-run. A Carlson steal led to a layup from reserve point guard Sarah Schmitt to cap things. While the Griffs got it down to a two-point deficit a few minutes later, the Loper advantage was eight, 44-36, by the end of the third quarter. A Shiloh McCool offensive rebound led to a layup by reserve guard Meg Burns to end the quarter.

UNK held at least a four-point cushion in the fourth quarter with its first double-digit lead coming on a Simental three at the 3:35 mark. That made it 56-44 with the Lopers ending the game 22 of 52 from the field which included six treys.

Simental reached her season-high point total by making six field goals and three free throws. Backes, part of a bench mob that outscored the Griff reserves by a 27-7 margin, reached her 16 points thanks to a 4-of-8 effort from behind the arc.

Carlson supplied 12 points and 11 boards for her first double-double of the year.

Forward Connie Clark, who came in almost averaging a double-double, led the Griffons with 23 points, nine rebounds and two steals.

The Lopers head to Northwest Missouri on Saturday. The Bearcats (11-3, 6-2) lost to No. 2 Fort Hays State on Wednesday night, 63-60.

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