Lopers Tally 90 forThird Straight Game
Kearney, Neb. – Sophomore Ethan Brozek had a doubledouble and sophomore Connor Beranek had another big second half performance tohelp Nebraska-Kearney hold off Pittsburg State, 92-83, Thursday night at theHealth & Sports Center.
UNK (12-10, 8-7) has won seven in a row, its longest winstreak since a nine game stretch during the 2006-07 season.
Taking the season series from the Gorillas (7-14, 3-11), theLopers had to shake off a slow start. Both teams were shooting 28% (8 of 28)midway through the first half as Kearney held a 12-8 lead.
That four point cushion remained at the half, 39-35, as UNKsunk 13 of 20 free throws and Brozek already had his second double (14 points& 10 rebounds) of the year.
Both teams, as usual, warmed up in the second half, Pittgoing 16 of 32 (6 of 11 threes) and UNK connecting on 16 of 28 (3 of 7 threes)shots.
The Lopers, who led for the final 32 minutes, opened up a55-46 advantage after a dunk by senior post Mike Dentlinger (Millard North) anda jumper by Beranek (Ravenna). However, Oregon transfer Devon Branch broughtthe Gorillas back as his layup made it a 60-57 game at the 11:08 mark.
The Loper lead was whittled to one, 75-74, six minutes laterbut Brozek (Norfolk) was fouled after a fast break dunk. He made the ensuingfree throw and then UNK went 13 of 14 at the line in the final 3:46 to saltthings away.
UNK went 31 of 44 at the line (70.5%) overall and had aseason-low five turnovers, including none in the first half.
Brozek finished with 23 points and a career-high 18 rebounds(17 defensive). The board total is the most by a Loper since All-American DustyJura had 20 in a March 2007 game vs. Adams State.
After having 17 points and seven rebounds in last Saturday'swin at Washburn, Beranek had 17 points after the break tonight. That included adeep three late in the shot clock that made it 87-78 with just over a minute to play.
Also, freshman guard Kevin Dineen (Creighton Prep) had aseason-high 12 points thanks to seven made free throws in the final threeminutes. Finally, Benkelman senior Kendal Glidden (five points & threeo-boards) and Kentucky junior Delquan Thomas (seven points, four assists &two rebounds) were productive off the bench.
Branch, one of four Pitt players in double figures, had 16points, seven boards, six assists and two steals.
UNK is off until next Wednesday when they are at EmporiaState.
Courtesy UNK Sports Information