Nebraska-Kearney held Wayne State to just one basket during a nine-minute stretch midway through the second half to break open a close game as the Lopers claimed a 75-63 non-conference win Monday over the Wayne State men at the UNK Health and Sports Center in Kearney.
Wayne State never led in the contest. The host Lopers scored the first 10 points of the game for a 10-0 lead until Luke TerHark produced a three-point play to get Wayne State on the board 3:32 into the contest.
The Wildcats trailed 24-12, but scored seven straight and got within 24-19 following a Kendall Jacks layup at the 7:53 mark. UNK pushed the lead back to nine several times before finishing the first half with a 37-31 lead.
The Wildcats trailed 45-37 early in the second half when they made a run to get as close to UNK as they would all night. Jacks scored back-to-back baskets to get the Wildcats within one at 47-46 with 13:10 remaining.
But UNK took control of the game with a 12-0 run and held the Wildcats to just one basket for the next 9:03 to build a commanding 72-51 lead and the Lopers went on to the 12-point win.
Kendall Jacks and Jordan Cornelius reached double figures for the Wildcats with 12 and 11 points respectively. Trey Lansman led four Loper players in scoring with 18 points followed by Isaiah McKay with 16. Yashua Trent and Ty Danielson also hit double digits with 12 and 10 points.
Austin Esters hauled in eight rebounds for the Wildcats. Brian Goodwin had four of Wayne State’s 10 assists while Vance Janssen recorded three steals.
Wayne State (1-5) will play its first regular season games at home this weekend, hosting Minnesota State Friday at 8 p.m. and Concordia-St. Paul Saturday in a 6 p.m. contest at Rice Auditorium.