Broncos Draw Rio Grande
Hastings College will face Rio Grande of Ohio next Thursday in the opening round of the NAIA Women's Basketball National Championship in Sioux City. Tip-off for the game will be at 5:15pm at the Tyson Events Center. The Broncos are 22-8 on the season. The Red Storm are champions of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after compiling a record of 25-7 this year, 13-1 in the conference. They are led by Brianna Thomas, who is averaging 18 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. She was named the Player of the Year in the KIAC. Rio Grande will be making their second appearnce in the national tournament after dropping their opening round game in 2008. With a win, the Broncos would likely face 6th ranked Indiana Wesleyan in the second round. Also in the pod of eight teams is 4th ranked St. Xavier of Illinois, 13th ranked College of the Ozarks and 20th ranked Sienna Heights of Michigan.
UNK Goes for National Title Next Weekend
The Nebraska Kearney wrestling team is up four spots to third in the latest Division II Wrestling Coaches Association Top 20 poll.
The Lopers received 139 points to be the highest ranked MIAA team in the poll. The six-team league is also represented Lindenwood (10th) and Fort Hays State (16th).
Defending national champion the College of Notre Dame (Ohio) vaulted three spots back into the top position. The Falcons, with 157 points and five first place votes, have a nation-best eight qualifiers for next week's NCAA Championships in St. Louis.
NCAA host Maryville remains second with 155 points and the other three first place votes. UNK, MU, No. 6 Western State and No. 8 Colorado Mesa each have seven national qualifiers.
Individually for UNK, junior Daniel DeShazer (1st/133 lbs.) retained his ranking with sophomore Destin McCauley up a spot to sixth at 149 lbs. with junior Chase White moving up three positions to fifth at 157 lbs. Finally, junior Romero Cotton dropped a spot to second at 197 lbs.
Below are the national pairings for the Lopers with current national rankings.
Connor Bolling (Jr., Central City, 32-12) Vs. # 5 Matt Turek (Gannon, Pa.)
Next Round: # 8 Garrett Evans (Ouachita Baptist) or # 7 Josh Kiefer (Indianapolis)
# 1 Daniel DeShazer (Jr., Wichita, Kans., 35-5) vs. Mike Rhone (St. Cloud State)
Next Round: # 4 Nick Crume (Indianapolis) or Karl Lightner (Shippensburg, Pa.)
Keith Surber (Fr-R, O'Fallon, Ill., 23-9) vs. Ryan Skonieczny (Findlay, Ohio)
Next Round: # 6 Preston Bowshier (Wheeling Jesuit, W.V.) or # 5 Josh Myers (Ouachita Baptist)
# 6 Destin McCauley (So., No. Sioux City, S.D., 23-7) vs. Andrew Bannister (Notre Dame)
Next Round: # 2 Keenan Hegarty (Maryville) or Scott Bosak (Belmont Abbey, N.C.)
# 5 Chase White (Jr., Lincoln, 14-7) vs. # 8 Greg Hegarty (Maryville)
Next Round: # 6 Sean Turner (Anderson, S.C.) vs. Michael Springer (Shippensburg, Pa.)
Devin Aguirre (Jr., Ponca City, Okla., 28-14) vs. Nick Fishback (Wisconsin-Parkside)
Next Round: # 6 Angelo Bortoluzzi (Mercyhurst, Pa.) or # 5 Dimitri Willis (Maryville)
# 2 Romero Cotton (Jr., Hutchinson, Kans.) vs. # 8 Evan Rosborough (Lake Erie, Ohio)
Next Round: Chris Di Lorio (Long Island-Post, N.Y.) or Joe Gomez (Northern State)
Danger's Evans IFL Special Teams Player of the Week
WEEK 1 IFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK ANNOUNCED
RB Tory Harrison, DL Jeremiah Price & KR Troy Evans
Take Home Honors
The Indoor Football League (IFL) is proud to announce the Week 1 Vidswap.com Players of the Week.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tory Harrison (RB, Sioux Falls)
Storm RB Tory Harrison (5'11,200, Southern Mississippi) helped propel the Storm to a 66-42 victory over the Bemidji Axemen with 91 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in Week 1. Harrison also added 11 kick return yards and finished with 102 all-purpose yards. After week one, Harrison currently leads the IFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The Storm rushed for six touchdowns in Week 1. Sioux Falls goes on the road again in Week 2 as the team travels to face inter-conference rival, the Cedar Rapids Titans.
Honorable Mention: Houston Lillard (QB, Tri-Cities Fever), Willie Copeland (QB, Colorado Ice), Washaun Ealey (RB Cedar Rapids Titans) Bryan Pray (WR, Cedar Rapids Titans)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jeremiah Price (DL, Cedar Rapids)
2012 United Bowl MVP Jeremiah Price (6'2,255, Oklahoma State) turned out one of the more impressive defensive performances in league history last week. Price gained four quarterback sacks in route to the Titans 51-20 over the Iowa Barnstormers in the inaugural "Iowa Bowl". He also had a forced fumble. Price has now racked up 31.5 sacks in his career and is second among active players only behind Titans teammate Xzavie Jackson (49.5). Price and the Titans prepare for a rematch of the 2014 United Conference Championship game against the Sioux Falls Storm this week
Honorable Mention: Jujuan Harley (DB, Bemidji Axemen), T.J Simmons (DB, Iowa barnstormer), Xzavie Jackson (DL, Cedar Rapids Titans) ,Dontrell Johnson (DB, Green Bay Blizzard)
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Troy Evans (KR, Nebraska)
KR Troy Evans, one of the more versatile players in the IFL ,helped the Danger clinch 52-35 victory against the Blizzard a with a decisive kick return for a touchdown. In a back and forth battle up until the third quarter, Evans (5'9,202, Marshall University) grabbed a Blizzard kickoff late in the quarter and ran it 58 yards back to help give the Danger a 17 point lead that they would never relinquish. Evans finished the game with two kick returns for 68 yards and a touchdown. He also added six receptions for 41 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Tobin Reinwald of Hastings College has been named to the Great Plains Athletic Conference All Conference First Team. Zach Lenagh was named honorable mention. Jalen Voss of Dakota Wesleyan was named the Player of the Year. Luke Bamberg of Dakota Wesleyan was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year, Colton Kooima of Northwestern as the Freshman of the Year and Jim Skykes of Morningside and Matt Wilber of Dakota Wesleyan as the Coaches of the Year.
For the second consecutive season, Bailey Morris of Concordia has been named the GPAC Women's Basketball Player of the Year. She is joined on the first team by Jamie Van Kirk of Hastings College. Michaela Berry was named to the second team. Abby Jackson and Sierra Williamson were honorable mention. Taylor Bahensky of Morningside was named the Defensive Player of the Year, Mary Janovich of Concordia the Freshman of the Year and Jamie Sale of Morningside the Coach of the Year.
Tuesday District Basketball Scores
Norfolk 59, Omaha Burke 47
Millard West 51, Lincoln Southeast 29
Plattsmouth 48, Norris 36
Gretna 71, Elkhorn South 67
Elkhorn Mount Michael 70, Blair 44
Beatrice 64, Crete 38
Adams Central 49, Aurora 34
Scottsbluff 62, Alliance 48
Class D1 District Tournament
Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 45, Nebraska City Lourdes 35
High Plains Community 58, Mead 49
Bloomfield 60, Omaha Nation 40
Clearwater/Orchard 60, Ansley-Litchfield 34
Amherst 72, Kenesaw 49
Sutherland 53, Southwest 34
Class D2 District Tournament
Falls City Sacred Heart 57, Exeter/Milligan 42
Bancroft-Rosalie 48, Stuart 47, OT
Riverside 48, Wilcox-Hildreth 36
Bertrand 68, Anselmo-Merna 54
Paxton 48, Hitchcock County 44
Minatare 61, Cody-Kilgore 41
Brown Goes for 22 as Lopers End the 2014-15 Season
Junior reserve guard McKenzie Solberg scored 26 points and the Central Oklahoma Bronchos women's basketball team finished on an 18-5 run to pull away from Nebraska Kearney, 90-70, Tuesday night in an MIAA Tournament game in Edmond, Okla.
Sixth-seeded UCO improves to 17-12 and advances to Kansas City where they'll face nationally-ranked Pittsburg State Friday night. UNK ends the year at 12-17.
Shooting 57% (35 of 61) from the field, UCO got a staggering 49 points off its bench to outscore UNK 47-29 in the second half. The Lopers did lead 18-11 seven minutes in and held a two-point lead with 15:32 to play.
In a game with 10 ties and nine lead changes, the Bronchos went on an 18-9 run midway through the second half to lead 68-59. This key stretch included two of UCO's six made threes.
UNK quickly fought back, getting a five straight points from Grand Island freshman guard McKenzie Brown to make it a four-point game. However, UCO built the lead back to seven and then didn't miss in the final 4:56, going 7 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 at the line.
"I don't what they shot in the last 10 minutes but pretty much every one they threw up went in," said UNK head coach Kevin Chaney. "Our communication just wasn't very good tonight. We stayed with them for three quarters of the game but, at crunch time, they got back door cuts and our miscommunication on screens allowed them some open looks."
A 39% shooter on the season who came in averaging seven points per game, Solberg made 10 of 13 shots (2 of 5 threes) and went 4 of 5 at the line to reach her game-high point total.
UCO also got 15 points and three assists from sophomore reserve guard Marley Anderson with 6-2 senior starter Kylie Mayes going 7 of 7 from the field to tally 19.
The Bronchos needed the production from its bench as starting forward Julia Mason suffered a knee injury seven minutes in and didn't return. She is the team's second leading scorer at 10.6 per game.
Winning the battle on the glass by four and having 13 second chance points, UNK shot 40% (25 of 62) from the field, including a 9 of 25 effort from behind the arc. The 25 attempts were one short of the season-high.
Brown was the main bomber, going 5 of 14 from long distance to tie her season-high of 22 points. The 14 long range attempts are the second most in school history, trailing only the 19 Debi Johnson took in a January 2010 win over Colorado Mesa.
Next, junior guard Laramey Lewis (Trenton) had 17 points, seven boards (four offensive), three assists and three steals with senior post Amarah Williams (St. Louis, Mo.) providing 13 points and eight rebounds (four offensive).
Finally, senior reserve post Mariam Ridgewell (Boise, Idaho) had four points, two assists and a board in her final collegiate game. She and Williams were UNK's seniors this year.
"Our girls are fantastic and I wouldn't trade them for the world," said Chaney. "We had a decent season. We started with only eight players but got better and had a nice little winning streak at one point. We competed in pretty much every game and I think we were fun to watch."
The Nebraska men's basketball team will be looking to break a six game losing streak when they play at Illinois tonight. The Huskers have not won a game since February 3rd when they beat Northwestern 76-60 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska is 13-16 on the season, 5-11 in the Big Ten Conference. The Fighting Illini are 18-11, 8-8 in the conference. Tip-off will be at 9:06pm. Pre-game show begins at 8:04pm on 1230AM KHAS and "The Breeze," KLIQ 94.5FM.
The Nebraska women's basketball team will play Illinois tomorrow in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Huskers have already won two close meeting with the Fighting Illini, 58-53 in Champaign and 59-57 in Lincoln. Tip-off will be at 6:00pm. We'll have the game on ESPN 1550 KICS beginning with the pre-game show at 5:45pm.
Nebraska track and field coach Gary Pepin has been named the Big Ten Men's Indoor Coach of the Year. It marks the 25th conference coach of the year honor for Pepin since 1997, when the Huskers started competing in the Big 12. Pepin led the Huskers to a dominating win at the Big Ten Indoor Championships over the weekend.
Concordia snapped Morningside's 39 game home winning streak with an 80-72 win last night in the title game of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Women's Postseason Basketball Tournament. Mary Janovich led the way with 17 points. Bailey Morris had 15.
In the men's game, Midland beat Morningside 89-67. The Warriors jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first 4 ½ minutes of the game.
Adams Central won the B-5 District Championship last night with a 49-34 win over Aurora. The Patriots hit just six two point field goals in the game, but were 7 of 17 from three point range. Garrett Sitner hit five three pointers and finished with 17 points. Aurora shot just 26 percent from the floor in the game. They were 1 of 12 in the second quarter and 2 of 14 in the third quarter as Adams Central built a 33-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Adams Central will play in the boy's state tournament next week in Lincoln. The Patriots will face Elkhorn South next Thursday at 8:45pm at the Sports Center. Hastings St. Cecilia will play Hartington Cedar Catholic at 7:00pm at Lincoln Northeast.
In some other games, Bruning Davenport Shickley beat Nebraska City Lourdes 45-35, Amherst knocked off Kenesaw 72-49, Riverside downed Wilcox Hildreth 48-36 and Bertrand defeated Anselmo Merna 68-54.
Three Loper Men Qualify for National Indoor Meet
The Nebraska Kearney track & field team has qualified three men for the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships March 13-14 in Birmingham, Ala.
The meet will take place at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The CrossPlex and the University of Alabama Huntsville will serve as co-hosts.
Lincoln senior Dillon Schrodt leads the way as he ranks second nationally in the heptathlon with 5,429 points. Pittsburg State freshman Tanner McNutt (5,438) had the highest point total in a meet this season with three other MIAA men also qualifying in this event.
Schrodt is a two-time indoor All-American, finishing seventh in the hep in 2013 (7th/5,185) and third in 2014 (3rd/5,336).
Next, Kimball senior Brady Land ranks third in the long jump thanks to his school record leap of 25-0.75. Only Lutalo Boyce of Texas A & M-Kingsville (25-7.25) and Chadron State freshman Damarcus Simpson (25-4.50) had a better jump this regular season.
Finally, Rushville sophomore Cole Wellnitz ranks 14th in the mile at 4:08.96. Adams State senior Matt Adams leads the country (3:59.89) with the eighth fastest time belonging to Wuoi Mach of Michigan's Grand Valley State (4:07.75).
A top eight finish is good for All-American honors. Spencer Huff ('08) is UNK's only D2 indoor All-American in the long jump while no Loper runner has earned that honor in the mile.
Cambridge junior Kalen Farr almost made it to Alabama as he ranked 15th nationally in the hep (5,037 points). A total of 14 were selected.
Below is when UNK's qualifiers compete
Friday, March 13th
Schrodt, First three Heptathlon events (9:45 a.m.)
Wellnitz, Mile Prelims (4:45 p.m.)
Land, Long Jump Finals (5:05 p.m.)
Saturday, March 14th
Schrodt, Last three Heptathlon events (9:00 a.m.)
Wellnitz, Mile Finals (4:25 p.m.)
Loper Men Advance in MIAA
Five players scored in double figures and the Nebraska Kearney used a big second half to pull away from Southwest Baptist, 90-74, Monday night at the Health & Sports Center.
This was an MIAA Tournament first round game. The sixth-seeded Lopers improve to 18-9 and will face third-seed Missouri Southern State (18-10) Thursday night in Kansas City at approximately 8:15 p.m.
In the only meeting between the two this winter, UNK beat MSSU by a 93-73 score back on December 4th in the H & S Center. Last March, the Lions ended the Lopers season in K.C., 87-79.
Ranked 13th out of 14 schools in the MIAA in three point percentage (33.2%), the 11th-seeded Bearcats bucked the odds by knocking down their first six long range shots.
Three of the bombs were from senior guard Derrick Stewart as SBU built a 24-18 nine minutes in. However, the 'Cats (11-18) would go 3 of 15 from behind the arc the rest of the way.
Shooting 57.4% (31 of 54) on the night, including 9 of 18 from the three point line, UNK slowly chipped away at the deficit, tying things up at 37 on a tip in from junior Connor Beranek (Ravenna) right before the halftime buzzer.
The Lopers never trailed in the second half, a 20-minute span in which it scored 53 points. Kearney moved ahead 57-46 on a layup from freshman forward Trey Lansman (Harlan, Ia.) at the 10:00 mark but SBU hung around for a bit longer.
Finally, UNK extended its lead to 15 points after Beranek blocked a three and then blocked a seemingly easy fast break layup for SBU that got the crowd of 1,500 to go crazy. The second block led to two free throws from junior Ethan Brozek (Norfolk Catholic H.S.) and was part of an 8-2 run.
"We're really happy to get that trip to Kansas City. After the disappointing performance we had on Saturday, we got ourselves back into a good spot," said UNK co-head coach Tom Kropp.
The 2015 MIAA Player of the Year, Beranek scored a game-high 26 points, grabbed nine rebounds (six defensive), handed out four assists, blocked four shots and had two of UNK's three steals.
To reach his point total, he was 11 of 15 from the field and 4 of 4 at the line. The Lopers were 19 of 20 at the line as a team to shoot a season-best 95.0%.
"The MIAA is one of the best Division II leagues in the country and is speaks volumes that both Connor and Ethan were voted to the first-team," said Kropp.
Next, Brozek had 15 points, four boards and three assists with York freshman Ty Danielson coming off the bench and going 4 of 7 from downtown to tally 14, three shy of his season-best effort.
Finally, Lansman got close to his first double double (16 points & eight rebounds) with Minnesota freshman guard Isaiah McKay providing 13 points, two assists and two boards.
"Looking back at the calendar, we've been on the road for 17 out of 32 days since the end of January," said Kropp. "We'll take tomorrow (Tuesday) off and get ready because we want to go to Kansas City and be involved in more than one game."
A balanced SBU attack was led by starters Daymond Cowlah (14 points) and Menas Stephens (nine points, seven rebounds & five assists).
Four Huskers Earn Big Ten Awards
Emily Cady and Rachel Theriot earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, while Tear'a Laudermill added honorable-mention recognition when the Big Ten Conference announced its postseason awards live on BTN on Monday.
Cady, a 6-2 senior forward from Seward, Neb., averaged a double-double with 12.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game to help the Huskers record their fourth consecutive 20-win season in 2014-15. A four-year starter who has made 129 straight starts since the first game of her freshman season, Cady owns 1,415 points while ranking third in school history with 1,089 rebounds. She enters the Big Ten Tournament needing just five rebounds to join the conference's all-time top 10 in that category. Cady also ranks No. 5 in Husker history in blocked shots (111), while recording more assists (302) than any other post player in Nebraska history.
Cady, who earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior, was also an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice as a freshman and sophomore. She was also a Big Ten All-Freshman selection in 2012.
Theriot, a 6-0 junior point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, joined Cady with second-team All-Big Ten honors despite missing Nebraska's final eight Big Ten games with an ankle injury that required season-ending surgery on Feb. 19. A first-team All-Big Ten choice as a sophomore when she led the Huskers to the Big Ten Tournament title as the tournament's MVP, Theriot averaged 16.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists before her injury as a junior.
An honorable-mention All-American as a sophomore, Theriot was a preseason candidate for the Wade, Naismith, Wooden and Lieberman awards, while earning preseason first-team All-Big Ten recognition.
Laudermill, a 5-9 senior guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., added 13.7 points and 3.6 rebounds as a junior while joining Cady in the Husker starting five for all 29 games. It marked the second straight season for Laudermill to earn postseason honors, after claiming a second-team All-Big Ten award in 2014.
Senior Hailie Sample rounded out Nebraska's All-Big Ten honorees as the school's Sportsmanship Award winner. The 6-1 forward from Flower Mound, Texas, has produced 7.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game as a senior. Last season, Sample was a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
No. 7 seed Nebraska returns to action on Thursday at the Big Ten Tournament to take on No. 10 seed Illinois. Tip-off between the Huskers and Fighting Illini at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is set for 6 p.m., with live TV coverage by BTN.
It will be the third meeting of the season between Nebraska and Illinois, with the Huskers coming from behind in the closing minutes to win a pair of possession games in the first two meetings.