Hornets defend home court
The Emporia State men’s basketball team defeated the Nebraska Kearney Lopers in last night’s heated home game. There with three technicals for the night and even an ejected fan the Hornets won a physical 82-68 victory over the Lopers.
“Championship teams do this all the time and we are going to be a championship program,” Shaun Vandiver, head coach said. “If you guard and rebound at this level, you will be in more games than not.”
Seven seconds after tip off, Kaleb Wright, senior guard, was already putting points on the board. The Hornets would maintain that lead throughout the first half, leading by as much as 12. The Lopers slowly worked their way back as the first wound down, going into the break 40-34.
Terrence Moore, sophomore guard, ended the first with 12 points and three rebounds. Wright added 10 points and four rebounds, Paul Bunch, senior center lead the team in rebounds with six.
After the break, the Hornets quickly increased their lead to ten again. As the game began to get more physical, neither team could put a run together, but the Lopers began to inch their way back into the game, coming as close as three points at around the halfway point.
Fouls were a big issue in the second half, Bunch received his fourth with eight minutes left to play and Micah Swank, sophomore guard, along with Moore both had three.
A big basket by Gavin Brown, senior forward, put the Hornets up by nine with three minutes left. During the next trip down the court, Bunch received his fifth and fouled out. Wright would score the next four points and the Hornets would increase their lead to 15.
“It shows that we can dominate the post,” Brown, an accounting major, said. “We were plus 21 on rebounds tonight and plus 20 points in the paint… Tonight was a stepping stone for Washburn.”
A technical on Moore with just less than two minutes left would send the Lopers to the line, making two for four. Wright would answer with another basket before both Moore and Nebraska Kearney’s Pearson would receive simultaneous technical. With his second, Moore was ejected from the game.
“We knew if we kept fighting, they were going to give up,” Wright, a health promotion major, said. “That was said in the huddle, two more minutes and they are going to crack and that is what happened.”
The Hornets would end the game with a dunk from Jordan Tyler, retiring the game at 92-83. The win improved the Hornets record to 16-11 overall and 9-8 MIAA. The Hornets now prepare to host Washburn next Saturday.
“It’s the rival so it’s always fun with a great atmosphere… we love our crowd,” Wright said.