(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The eighth-ranked Jennies remained perfect in MIAA play after taking down visiting Nebraska-Kearney, 73-66 at the Multipurpose Building on Saturday afternoon.
Central Missouri (10-1, 4-0 MIAA) faced an eight-point deficit with just under 10 minutes remaining in the opening half, 28-20. Keuna Flax and Shelby Winkelmann engineered an 11-0 run over the next 7:04, providing the Jennies with a 31-28 lead with 2:53 to go until intermission.
The Lopers (5-6, 2-3 MIAA) closed out the half outscoring UCM 9-5, led by Shelby Zimmerman who deposited four points and Kelsey Fitzgerald who dropped a layup with 17 seconds left, cutting UCM’s lead to one at 37-36. Flax had 17 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes — the game’s only player who registered in double-figure scoring in the first half. The Jennies were outscored, 22-20, in the paint and had just four points from their bench versus 12 points from the Lopers’ second unit.
Over the first 8:42 of the second half, the two foes battled to two lead changes and four ties, the final tie coming at 55-55 with 11:18 left in the game after Fitzgerald hit a jumper, her ninth and 10th points on the afternoon. UNK’s Amarah Williams drew a foul and split two free throws to put the Lopers ahead 56-55 with 10:46 on the clock.
Flax sank a three-pointer 23 seconds later to put the Jennies ahead for good, 58-56. UCM ran its lead to eight with 5:46 remaining courtesy of layups by Revonnia Howard, Winkelmann and Brielle Wattley.
Nebraska-Kearney chipped away at the Jennies’ lead, closing to within three at 66-63 with 4:01 left, but UCM finished the game on a 7-3 run to secure its second-consecutive 10-1 start.
The Jennies improved their conference record to 4-0 for the first time since the 1995-96 season and remain undefeated against Nebraska-Kearney in the all-time series (2-0).
Flax led the Jennies in scoring for the ninth time this season, tallying 27 points, while grabbing 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the campaign. Three other Jennies finished with double-figure points (Winkelmann: 13, Quinnecia Twine: 11 and Howard: 10).
Central Missouri will host Washburn on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.