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RiverHawks look to rebound Saturday at home

Published 2/12/18

Game 24: Northeastern State (7-16, 3-11 MIAA) vs. Nebraska-Kearney (13-9, 6-7 MIAA) at 7:30 p.m. | February 8, 2018
Tahlequah, Okla. | NSU Event Center 
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Play-by-Play Bill Huddleston
Northeastern State Game Notes

The Series 
Saturday's meeting is the 12th between the Lopers and RiverHawks with NSU trailing in the series 9-2. The RiverHawks have dropped their last seven in a row to UNK.  Northeastern State's last win over Lopers came at home (90-85) during the 2013-14 season.

The Coaches
Mark Downey was introduced as NSU's tenth men's basketball coach on April 11, 2017 and carries a 211-119 overall head coaching record, with four NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances, and has been named Coach of the Year six times.  Downey comes to NSU after two seasons at Fort Wayne (NCAA DI) as the program's top assistant on the bench, and has helped the Mastodons to appearances in the Tournament (CIT) and the NIT, while going 44-23.  Prior to Fort Wayne, Downey spent the 2014-15 season at Bowling Green where they went 20-12, and he helped direct them into the second round of the CIT.

Kevin Lofton (51-35) is in his 23rd year at Nebraska-Kearney and third as head coach of the Lopers.  Since his promotion from associate head coach, the Lopers have achieved a record of 207-160, including a 141-109 conference record. Over Lofton's 20 plus years on the UNK bench in various coaching roles, he has helped the Lopers reach 11 NCAA Tournaments, including two visits to the Sweet Sixteen and the 2003 Elite Eight.

Last Time Out for NSU
Jamir Andrews hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final 12 seconds to force overtime on Thursday evening at the NSU Event Center.  Despite the late heroics, the RiverHawks fell 98-89 in a gut wrenching heartbreaker to Fort Hays State that needed two extra overtime period to decide.  Andrews finished the night with 24 points half of which came at the end of regulation and in overtime.  Lucas Antunez and Tanner Mouse both had 17 points off of the bench, and Montre' Williams had 14 against the Tigers who snapped a four game road losing skid.  Mouse led the RiverHawks with six rebounds and as a team they trailed Fort Hays State 58-to-38.   

Last Time Out for UNK
Four players scored in double figures and Central Oklahoma grabbed 14 offensive rebounds to beat Nebraska-Kearney, 77-69, Thursday night in Edmond.  Kearney hit seven three-pointers in the first ten minutes to take an early 24-9 lead on the Bronchos but faded.  Thanks to 11 offensive rebounds, Central Oklahoma outscored UNK 30-10 the rest of the half to lead by five.  The Lopers tried to comeback from a 14-point hole late in the second half, getting the deficit down to 73-67 after a Danielson layup. However, UCO went 3 for 4 at the line to push the lead back to nine.

Nearing 1,000
NSU senior returner Montre' Williams is the lone NSU player who has seen action in the past three seasons for the RiverHawks and was an All-MIAA selection last year.   The senior from Copperas Cove, Texas led the RiverHawks in scoring with 12.3 points per game one year ago and has 989 career points in 103 games played.

Hold the rock
Northeastern State only turned the ball over three times in the Feb. 8 contest against Fort Hays State which is tied for the second lowest total in NCAA Division II men's basketball this season.  

Up next
Northeastern State will head to Fort Hays State next on Thursday for a 7:30 tip-off.
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