Men's Basketball Falls in Close One to Nebraska-Kearney 63-59
Denver, Colo.: A night after scoring 86 points in an 86-76 win over Chadron State, the Regis men's basketball team was only able to muster 59 points in falling to Nebraska-Kearney 63-59 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action.
Regis (3-4, 1-3 RMAC) and Nebraska-Kearney (5-3, 3-1 RMAC) battled to nine ties and seven lead changes before Nebraska-Kearney's Mike Dentlinger, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit a layup with seven seconds remaining in the first half to give UNK a 28-26 lead.
Regis did shoot 52 percent in the first half but was hindered by 11 turnovers. Regis outrebounded the Lopers 16-7 in the first stanza including five offensive rebounds.
The two teams stayed close in the second half with UNK leading by as many as nine points. Just as the Rangers would get the score to within one basket the Lopers would respond.
A Brandon MacLellan layup with 2:25 remaining in the second half again cut the lead to two points. Neither team was able to score on their next posessions, including two missed free throws by senior Stevie Ledesma. Dentlinger was then able to connect on two charity shots to push the lead to four again for the Lopers.
MacLellan again answered, this time on a jumper to cut the lead in half with 1:39 left. Nebraska-Kearney's Michael Vandahl got fouled with 1:22 remaining and with the Lopers still in the 1-and-1 calmly sank both free throws to put the Lopers ahead again by four points.
Head Coach Lonnie Porter took a timeout and set up a play for junior Lance Korell. Korell missed his jumper but the ball was kept alive by the Rangers, on the ensuing posession, senior Curtis Mitchell got a look at a three that was a little off, but Ledesma was there to corral the offensive rebound. The Rangers had another shot clock and with 42 seconds remaining MacLellan took a jumper that clanged off the rim and "Johnny on the spot" junior Chris Johansen gobbled up the rebound and subsequently put the ball up and in to cut the lead to 58-56 with 36 seconds remaining.
Vandahl again stepped to the line and sank both free throws and the Rangers missed their next shot before Dentlinger went to the line and made both his free throws to extend the lead to six. Ledesma then hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining to cut the lead to three.
Johansen then fouled Drew Sankey in hopes of him missing both, but he connected on the first one to make it a four-point game and giving his team the 63-59 victory.
Nebraska-Kearney was 11-for-12 from the charity stripe over the last three minutes of the second half to secure the win.
Johansen scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Korell had 10 points, while freshman Greg Lee chipped in with eight.
Regis attempted just 13 free throws, connecting on seven of them, while UNK went 27-for-32 (84.4 percent) from the line. Regis outrebounded the Lopers 34-27 and limited UNK to just two offensive rebounds. Regis took 21 (58-37) more shots than Nebraska-Kearney.
Regis will travel to cross-town rival Metro State next Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.
Click here for boxscore.