Brown sets new school record in Loper win

UNK senior McKenzie Brown points out to her teammates during a game against Southwest Baptist on Feb. 23, 2018 (KHGI)

Senior McKenzie Brown became Nebraska-Kearney's all-time leader in made three pointers and senior Michaela Barry got hot late to help the Lopers rally past Southwest Baptist, 81-75, Friday evening at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the regular season finale for both teams. UNK (21-6, 13-6) will be the fourth or fifth seed in the MIAA Tournament which begins Monday night. Emporia State (16-7, 9-7) needs to win at Central Oklahoma (21-6, 12-6) on Saturday to move the Lopers into sole possession of fourth place. That would allow for a first round bye and an automatic trip to Kansas City next weekend.

It didn't look like UNK would have to worry about that scenario as SBU (16-13, 7-12), buoyed by a career-high 27 points from junior forward Morgan Henderson, led 71-63 with five to play. However, the Lopers have had a penchant for late rallies in 2017-18 and did it again.

An 18-4 closing run fittingly featured 12 points from Barry (Battle Creek) and three apiece from Brown (G.I. Northwest) and graduate transfer Alyssa Frauendorfer (Humphrey). Meanwhile, SBU finished the quarter with12 total points on 6 of 18 (33 percent) shooting.

Two Barry free throws tied things at 75 with 1:23 left and then a Frauendorfer layup 34 seconds later gave UNK the lead for good. Barry and Brown went a combined 4 for 6 at the line to complete the scoring.

Early on, Brown carried the offense, scoring 16 in the first half thanks to four threes. She became the record holder with 1:02 left in the third quarter and that cut the SBU lead to two, 56-54. Finishing with a game-high 29 points on 10 of 22 (6 of 12 threes) shooting, Brown's 248 made triples best the mark of 247 set by UNK Hall of Famer Beth Swift between 1998-02. Brown also had seven rebounds tonight in 37 minutes of action.

Next, Barry had 19 of her 26 points in the second half, mainly thanks to a 12 of 13 effort from the line. She also grabbed eight defensive caroms and had a team-best six assists. Finally, Frauendorfer worked around foul trouble to supply seven points and six boards with freshman guard Adreon Bell (Independence, Mo.) coming off the bench to have six points and four assists.

Having 20 second chance points thanks to 11 offensive rebounds, SBU saw Henderson have her second career 20-point game. Averaging just eight points per game, she was 13 of 18 (1 of 2 threes) tonight from the field while also having six boards and five assists.

Post Caylee Richardson (20 points and 12 rebounds) had a double double but UNK limited guard Megan Rosenbohm (six points) for the second time this season. She came in averaging over 20 a night.

Courtesy UNK Sports Information

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