Junior Melinda Murillo defends the ball at the UCO vs. Central Missouri Women’s game at the Hamilton Field House on February 2, 2017. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).
Marley Anderson couldn’t get a 3-pointer to fall at the buzzer as the Bronchos dropped their second straight game, losing 55-52 against Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday night.
Marley Anderson gets three 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds, but can’t connect on any of them. Kearney wins 55-52#RollChos
— UCO Bronchos (@ucoathletics) February 10, 2017
UCO shot 34.7 percent from the field in the game and committed 18 turnovers.
Blake Blessington led the Bronchos with 15 points followed by Marley Anderson, Melinda Murillo and Megan Womack who each had 6 points.
The opportunity to tie the game came off a second-half surge from the ninth-ranked UCO Bronchos, who had a lackluster first half.
UCO (20-3) committed three turnovers in the first two minutes of the game and had trouble making shots against the Lopers. As a team, the Bronchos made only 11 percent of their shots in the first quarter, while allowing the Lopers to shoot 57 percent from the field. At the end of the first quarter the Bronchos had dug themselves into a 17-7 hole.
Nebraska-Kearney’s Michaela Barry outscored the Bronchos by herself in the first period, scoring 11 opening quarter points.
The second quarter started with the Bronchos forcing Michaela Barry to take tough shots. UCO’s defensive efforts began to pay off as the team was able to string together several stops to execute a 9-3 scoring run and cutting the deficit to four.
The Lopers responded by going on a run of their own to extend their lead to 12 (33-21) going into halftime.
UCO was unable to find success on either side of the court in the first half. The Bronchos shot 6-21 from the field (28 percent) to go along with 10 first half turnovers, which the Lopers turned into nine points.
Defensively, UCO allowed Nebraska-Kearney to score 18 points while shooting 48 percent from the field in the first half.
The Bronchos began the third quarter much like the second, going on a scoring run to cut the 15-point deficit to 6 with 4 minutes to go.
With eight seconds to go in the quarter, the Bronchos forced a missed shot and came racing down the court with Blake Blessington leading the break. Blessington passed to Hayley Bryan, who hit a jumper with three seconds left to cut the Lopers lead to five heading into the final period.
During the fourth quarter the Bronchos battled back and trimmed Nebraska-Kearney’s lead to one with 1:20 remaining, but a missed three at the buzzer gave UCO their third loss of the season.
The Bronchos will try to bounce back against Fort Hays State University on Saturday.