Women’s Basketball: UCO Loses Fourth Straight Game, Falls to 20-5

Women’s Basketball: UCO Loses Fourth Straight Game, Falls to 20-5

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Junior forward Megan Womack waits as the ball is shot into the hoop at the UCO vs Nebraska-Kearney game at the Hamilton Field House on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista). 

The UCO Women’s basketball team lost their fourth straight game as the team fell to the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers 73-59 at home on Thursday.

 

Marley Anderson led the Bronchos in scoring with 13 points, followed by Melinda Murillo, who contributed 12.

UCO (20-5) shot 37 percent from the field during the game to go along with 20 turnovers, which turned into 19 Loper points. “We really struggled offensively tonight,” UCO head coach Guy Hardaker said.

The Bronchos defense kept the team in the game for the first half, but a hot third quarter shooting performance from Nebraska-Kearney blew the game open and UCO wasn’t able to recover.

“They made a bunch of threes and most of those were off second-chance opportunities,” Hardaker said.

The Lopers made 11 of their 21 3- point attempts and made 94 percent of their free throws to help extend their winning streak to three. Although they had a stout defensive first half in which they only gave up 23 points, UCO allowed the Lopers to score 50 points in the second half.

The first quarter saw both teams struggling to shoot the ball. Both the Bronchos and the Lopers shot 3-16 from the field, with UCO also losing the ball six times in the quarter. The defensive-minded first quarter ended with UCO trailing Nebraska-Kearney 9-7.

The Bronchos were able to get rid of their shooting woes in the second quarter as the team shot 50 percent from the field, while holding the Lopers to 43 percent shooting. Though the Lopers were not shooting well from the field, their 3-point shooting helped them lead the Bronchos 23-20 with under a minute to go.

With the game clock winding down in the second quarter, Blake Blessington pulled up from deep 3-point range to nail a shot, which tied the game 23-23 heading into halftime. Marley Anderson and Blake Blessington each had five points at the end of the second quarter.

As a team, the Bronchos committed 11 turnovers in the first half.

The third quarter was a struggle for the Bronchos defensively, as the team had trouble stopping anything the Lopers threw at them. Nebraska-Kearney shot 71 percent in the third period and were four of five from deep.

Luckily, UCO’s defensive issues were offset by a hot shooting quarter of their own. The Bronchos scored 21 points in the third quarter on 64 percent shooting. At the end of the third, UCO trailed Nebraska-Kearney 49-44.

From the five-minute mark in the third quarter to the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter, the Lopers completed a 19-4 run that blew the game wide open. UCO tried to mount a comeback by sending Nebraska-Kearney to the free throw line, but the Lopers’ shooting success transferred to the line, helping them seal the game.

UCO will aim to snap their four-game losing streak against Fort Hayes State University at Hamilton Field House on Saturday.

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