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UNK Never Trails in Beating Emporia State

The Nebraska-Kearney menís basketball team made a season-high 25 free throws and had a season-low seven turnovers to rout Emporia State, 81-58, Wednesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the first meeting between the two schools in 24 years. With the victory, UNK (6-13, 3-8) stops a five-game skid to the Hornets (8-9, 3-6).

The Lopers didnít trail all night as they went 25 of 50 from the field (6 of 13 threes) and 25 of 31 at the line. Junior wing Thomas Cooper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) capped a 8-0 Kearney run as he nailed a three right before the halftime buzzer to make it 38-29.

Emporia did get the deficit to six points in the second half at 50-44. However, sophomore forward Tyler Shields (Kearney H.S.) hit two threes and junior post Kendal Glidden (Benkelman) added a bucket to quickly push the UNK lead to 14 points.

The second best free throw shooting team in the MIAA, the Lopers were 12 of 16 at the line in the first half and 13 of 15 after the break. Senior wing Jon Henderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) made 9 of 10 freebies with junior post Mike Dentlinger (Millard North) going 6 of 8.

A balanced offensive attack featured four starters in double figures, led by Dentlinger with 18. He scored early and often in the second half and reached his point total by going 6 of 12 from the field.

Henderson and Shields each tallied 16 points with sophomore wing Pierre Newton (Laveen, Ariz.) having eight of his 10 points in the first half. Off the bench, Glidden supplied nine points, four rebounds and four assists.

Chicago natives Kaleb Wright (10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists) and Paul Bunch (12 points, seven blocks and six rebounds) paced the Hornets. Bunch fouled out late but the 6-11, 280 lbs. junior made the most of his 22 minutes as he made 6 of 9 shots and had five offensive rebounds.

UNK hosts Central Oklahoma Friday night. UCO fell at Fort Hays State, 78-71, to slip to 7-11 (5-5).