Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney women’s basketball got a double double from sophomore reserve forward Elisa Backes and started the second half with a bang to pull away from Sacred (P.R.) Heart, 62-36, Friday night in San Juan. The contest is part of the large “Puerto Rico Clasico” event which is comprised of NCAA Division II and III and NAIA members playing games in arenas throughout the city. Outside of a Facebook game film, UNK (11-1) didn’t know much about Universidad del Sagrado Corazon (English translation of University of Sacred Heart) but USC proved to be a pesky foe. UNK led for nearly 40 minutes and by as many as 27 points but was up only 30-20 at the break and 34-29 midway through the third quarter.
Coming in as Division II’s top three point shooting team (11.4 per game), the Lopers sunk its first trey nine seconds into the action but finished up 3 of 29 (10.3%) from behind the arc. That cold shooting reared its head mainly in the second quarter when UNK tallied just 10 points on 2 of 17 (0 for 11 threes) shooting. “We didn’t play particularly well. It’s obviously an adjustment to play in an environment like this … the physicality of the game is a lot different. It took a little bit for us to adjust to that style,” UNK head coach Carrie Eighmey said. “Once we got into the third quarter I thought we settled in well.” “Elisa came in and gave us a really good boost and did a lot of great things. She was a key for us tonight. I also thought Adreon Bell played some great minutes for us in spurts,” Eighmey said. Next, Simental had a team-best 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting with Holt having all 11 of her points in the second half. Elkhorn sophomore post Brooke Carlson also got it going over the final 20 minutes, scoring seven of her 12 points while also grabbing seven boards (three offensive). Finally South Dakota freshman reserve guard Trinity Law had six points and five steals with Missouri junior guard Adreon Bell at four boards, three points, an assist and steal.