It’s the beginning of league play this week for the University of Nebraska at Kearney and for the Lopers, they enter conference action with a 3-3 record and looking to improve. The Lopers will first hit the road to Hays, Kansas and play the Tigers of Fort Hays State tonight.
In this rivalry contest, the two teams have posted similar records as to this point the Tigers are 4-3. The interesting thing with this Fort Hays team is they have played a number of tight games thus far in the season as they are scoring on average 77.4 points per game and allowing 71.7. As a team, they shoot at 47.2% but they are allowing teams to shoot 45.7% against them.
The Tigers have a trio of scorers that are averaging double figures. Senior Brady Werth leads the way for Fort Hays with 13.3 points per game. Another senior, Marcus Cooper is scoring on average 12.9 points per game as well. The final double-figure scoring for Fort Hays is junior guard Aaron Nicholson at 10.7 points per game. It will be a large task for UNK to try and stop this group of talented players.
On Thursday, UNK will face Emporia State and the Hornets have posted a solid record of 4-2. This game will be another tough conference opponent, but for UNK, this game will be at home which will be an advantage. This Hornet team scores at a high rate averaging 88.7 points per game, but on the flipside, they allow 76.0 points per game.
They shoot at a 47.2% from the field and 35.8% from three-point range as well. This team on defense doesn’t block a lot of shots as they are under 1.0 per game so an emphasis for the Lopers will be to attack the rim. Luckily for UNK, they have a number of athletes who get to the rim very well.
Kooper Glick will be the player to watch for Emporia State. The senior forward is scoring 15.3 points per game while shooting 50.9% from the field and 36.7% from three-point range. Fellow senior Hassan Thomas will be another tough player to contain. Thomas is averaging 14.7 points per game while shooting 14.7 points game and grabbing an average of 6.5 rebounds as well.
For UNK this season, they have been led by true freshman Kanon Koster as he is scoring extremely well at 16.8 points per game. Not only is he leading the team in scoring, but he is grabbing an average of 7.7 rebounds per night as well from his guard position. Expect to see fellow freshman Henry Penner to continue his strong play as he is averaging 7.8 points per game and shooting 58.8% from three-point range.
For UNK, they have struggled in the facet of scoring, which their average is 68.7, and defense, which they are allowing about 76.0 points per game. But with six games under their belt expect to see an improvement entering conference play.
UNK will play Fort Hays State tonight with pregame set for 7:30 P.M. and that game can be heard on 93.1 The River. The game against Emporia state will be on Thursday and pregame will begin at 7:30 P.M. on 93.1 The The River.