Hornets top UNK in MIAA opener

Emporia State Hornets
ESU-MIAA BB_173733

December 5, 2019-Every Hornet who played scored and got a rebound as Emporia State opened MIAA play with a 78-68 win over Neb.-Kearney on Thursday night in White Auditorium.

The Lopers jumped out to a 7-4 lead early but the Hornets scored five straight to take a 9-7 lead with 14:20 left in the half. Emporia State opened up a nine point lead with 6:18 left as Mason Thiessen’s layup capped a 9-2 run for a 31-22 Hornet lead. Zac Owens gave Emporia State their biggest lead of the first half at 35-25 with 45 seconds left before Cedric Johnson scored with 21 seconds left and the Hornets took a 35-27 lead to the locker rooms.

Johnson’s lay up started a 10-0 run that spanned halftime as back to back three-pointers from RJ Pair and Kyle Juhl tied the game at 35 with 18:19 left. The Hornets called timeout and responded with an 8-1 lead to go up 43-36 with 16:26 left in the game. The gap would not go below five points the rest of the night and a 10-4 run gave Emporia State a 57-46 lead with 8:51 remaining. A Brenden Van Dyke dunk with 5:50 left gave the Hornets their biggest lead of the night at 63-50. After making just four of their first 11 free throws Emporia State went 13 of 14 from the line in the final 3:32 to ice the 78-68 win.

Jumah’Ri Turner led Emporia State with 19 points and four assists. Mason Thiessen had 16 points on six of seven shooting including a four of four effort from beyond the arc and Justin Williams added 12 points.

The Hornets are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they play host to Fort Hays State. Tip-off from White Auditorium is set for 3:30 p.m.

Courtesy: ESU Athletics

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