Lopers crush Grizzlies on glass, scoreboard
Kearney, Neb.— After outrebounding their opponents during each of the last five games, the Adams State College Grizzlies found out exactly how good the University of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers are as UNK posted a huge 40-16 rebounding advantage en-route to an easy 86-54 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win on Friday night in front of a 1,514-person Health & Sports Center crowd. The win, UNK's ninth straight, allowed the Lopers to improve to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play. ASC fell to 0-13 overall and 0-5 in the loop.
UNK had 19 offensive rebounds on the night, 11 in the first half, and took advantage of five double-figure scoring efforts to post the win. Reserve forward Chad Burger, a 6-foot-7 forward that transferred from Northern Arizona University, had 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, six of them on the offensive glass. He also had a game-high four assists. 6-foot-6 starting forward Dusty Jura, a sophomore from Columbus, Neb., also had 12 points and eight rebounds on a 4 of 5 shooting effort while senior guard Marty Levinson pitched in 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
ASC was paced by David Mitchell and Richard Mincey, who combined for 27 points. Mitchell scored 15 on a 6 of 9 shooting effort, but had just one rebound. Mincey tallied 12 points on a 5 of 8 shooting effort, just two nights after pouring in a career-high 23 against Johnson & Wales University.
The Lopers scored the first nine points of the game and quickly umpled out to a 13-2 lead in the first five minutes. ASC would pull to within eight at the midpoint of the first half before the Lopers went on a 12-3 run to build a 34-17 lead with 5:53 left in the period. Down by 18 at the break despite shooting a respectable 47.4 percent (9-19), ASC was guilty of 22 turnovers, 12 of which came in the first stanza.
The Lopers continued the pressure in the second half and used a 13-0 run over 3:46 to build a 62-31 edge after a Chris Dean dunk. The Lopers stretched that lead to 35 points and then cruised to the victory, the 16th in as many all-time meetings between the schools.
UNK was 52.5 percent (31-59) from the field overall and converted their rebounds into a 19-6 advantage in second chance points. They were also a solid 81.8 percent (18-22) from the free throw line. The Grizzlies shot 47.5 percent (19-40) from the field and just 63.2 percent (12-19) from the stripe.
The Grizzlies, who has now lost 15 straight games dating back to February, will look for a win when they host Fort Hays State University and Chadron State College on Jan. 14 and 15. Both games will begin at 8 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.