CHADRON – The Chadron State College basketball teams will wrap-up their regular seasons Saturday night by hosting Nebraska-Kearney in Armstrong Gymnasium. The women’s game begins at 6 p.m., while the men’s will follow at 8.
Both women’s teams were eliminated from advancing to the RMAC postseason playoffs last weekend, while both men’s teams will advance and could wind up meeting one another next Tuesday night in the opening round of the playoffs.
The CSC women are 8-17 overall and 8-13 in the conference. The UNK women are 7-19 and 7-14. The Eagles edged Kearney 64-60 on Jan. 7 in Kearney.
The CSC men are 12-13 for the season and 12-7 in the RMAC. The Lopers’ men are 15-10 and 13-8.
Kearney overwhelmed the Eagles 72-51 when they played in Kearney on Jan. 7. Since then, CSC has won 10 of its 12 games and is Kearney is 8-4.
There’s interesting familiarity among the women’s team. For instance, the standout on the CSC women’s team, Kaitlin Petri, is from Kearney and played two years with the Lopers before transferring in the fall of 2009. Since then, she’s tallied 944 points for the Eagles, giving her a career total of 1,474. She’s averaging 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds this winter.
The UNK women are led by guard Debi Johnson, a senior who graduated from Perkins County High at Grant. She is averaging 15 points this season with a high of 26, and has scored 1,425 points during her four years with the Lopers.
Another stalwart for the Lopers is senior Vanessa Leeper Jones, who is averaging 13.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. She has highs of 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Both Petri and Jones were recently named Academic All-Americans.
The Kearney men received what for many teams would be a fatal blow earlier this month when their leading scorer, 6-foot-6 sophomore Mike Dentlinger, suffered a severe knee injury in practice and was sidelined for the season. He was averaging 15 points and 5.6 rebounds.
A pair of freshmen, Tyler Shields of Kearney and Ethan Brozak of Norfolk Catholic, have filled in nicely. In the four games since then, Brozak has averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds and Shields has averaged 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds.
Junior transfer Jon Henderson and Chris Deans give the Lopers outside scoring threats. Henderson is averaging 12.3 points a game and Deans is averaging 9.6 while hitting 53 percent (35-66) from 3-point range.
The Lopers are excellent free throw shooters, leading the RMAC with a 75.3 percentage. Chadron State is shooting 65.9 percent from the line, but has scored 433 points from there while Kearney has scored 409.
Since Kearney is leaving the RMAC after this school year to join the Mid-America conference made up largely of Missouri and Kansas schools, this will be the Lopers’ final visit to Chadron as an RMAC member, but they will return for non-conference games early next season, CSC coaches said this week.
—CSC Sports Information