Starting 0-5 in conference play and 5-9 in the first 14 games wasn’t the plan for UNK. But, the encouraging aspect for this team is they are hanging with good teams. Thursday night’s loss to UCO was another occurrence that UNK is so close to getting over the hump as they lost to a good Broncho team, 77-70. UNK’s opponent today, Northeastern State, is 6-8 and have lost four straight ballgames as their last win was on December 17th.
So far, this team has been strong on offense at 79 points per game while shooting 49% from the field, 38% from three-point range, and dishing out 15 assists per game. On the defensive side, the Riverhawks are an average team as they allow 73 points per game and average six steals and three blocks.
Leading the way in scoring for the Riverhawks this season is junior Caleb Smith at 15 points per game. Smith is a crafty guard who can shoot the ball well also. He’s hitting three-point shots at a 41% clip. Fellow backcourt mate, senior Tanner Mouse is scoring 13 points per game and his highlight state is his ability to hit at the free thrown line as that clip is at 90%.
In UNK’s loss to UCO on Thursday, they had a decent offensive output as they were near their average scoring 70 points, but the contributions weren’t very spread out aside from the top three scorers. Freshman Kanon Koster led UNK with 19 points, junior Kyle Juhl poured in 18, and Austin Luger had 14 off the bench. Those three had great games, but UNK will need similar production from three scorers, and then others on the team to pick up the slack. The Lopers shot 50% from the three-point line which is a great clip and will win games in a lot of instances. The main issue was the defense for UNK. UCO shot 52% from the field and UNK can’t allow that today if they want to capture the win.
Pregame for this contest will start at 3:45 P.M. and can be heard on 93.1 The River.