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Lopers looking to upset Metro
Craig Hall
Antelope Staff

As of late the Loper men have been struggling on the basketball court: (10-9; 5-6 RMAC) dropping games against Colorado School of Mines and Chadron State College over the past two weeks. The team followed those two performances with a 63-68 loss against the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon. All on the road.

With a lot on the line, the men look to climb out of their recent slump by pulling an upset at home Thursday  against Metro State.

No. 20 Metro State (16-3; 9-2 RMAC) has won 10 of their last 11 games. The Roadrunners are led by junior guard Donte Nicholas who is averaging 18.3 points per contest through 19 games.

Metro’s high-powered offense is fueled by four of their starters all averaging over 10 points. This consistent play has led Metro to a three-loss season. Two of those games were lost to No. 14 Mesa State by a combined eight points. All three losses were by a total of 10 points.

Despite their recent struggles, the Lopers may be able to catch Mesa a little off their game, since UNK has a little bit more to play for. The Lopers currently sit  fifth in the East Division of the RMAC, and only the top four teams from each division advance to the RMAC Conference Tournament. “Mesa is nationally ranked, and on the other hand we are fighting for a conference tournament spot,” co-head coach Tom Kropp said.

Another big factor for the Lopers is the strength of the roster. For probably the first time this year UNK will not have to deal with injuries. Guard Jeremy Cruise has returned from an injury that kept him out for almost the entire month of January. In order to pull off the upset, the Lopers will need consistency more than anything. “We have to be hitting on all cylinders. We have to have everybody play well to beat a team like Metro,” Kropp said.

The Lopers will face a buzz saw of sorts when they play Thursday night. With the help of a home crowd and the basketball gods, UNK could be celebrating their biggest victory of the season as tournament time is just around the corner.   


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