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Broncos Draw Rio Grande

Hastings College will face Rio Grande of Ohio next Thursday in the opening round of the NAIA Women's Basketball National Championship in Sioux City. Tip-off for the game will be at 5:15pm at the Tyson Events Center. The Broncos are 22-8 on the season. The Red Storm are champions of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after compiling a record of 25-7 this year, 13-1 in the conference. They are led by Brianna Thomas, who is averaging 18 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. She was named the Player of the Year in the KIAC. Rio Grande will be making their second appearnce in the national tournament after dropping their opening round game in 2008. With a win, the Broncos would likely face 6th ranked Indiana Wesleyan in the second round. Also in the pod of eight teams is 4th ranked St. Xavier of Illinois, 13th ranked College of the Ozarks and 20th ranked Sienna Heights of Michigan.

UNK Goes for National Title Next Weekend

The Nebraska Kearney wrestling team is up four spots to third in the latest Division II Wrestling Coaches Association Top 20 poll.

The Lopers received 139 points to be the highest ranked MIAA team in the poll. The six-team league is also represented Lindenwood (10th) and Fort Hays State (16th).

Defending national champion the College of Notre Dame (Ohio) vaulted three spots back into the top position. The Falcons, with 157 points and five first place votes, have a nation-best eight qualifiers for next week's NCAA Championships in St. Louis.

NCAA host Maryville remains second with 155 points and the other three first place votes. UNK, MU, No. 6 Western State and No. 8 Colorado Mesa each have seven national qualifiers.

Individually for UNK, junior Daniel DeShazer (1st/133 lbs.) retained his ranking with sophomore Destin McCauley up a spot to sixth at 149 lbs. with junior Chase White moving up three positions to fifth at 157 lbs. Finally, junior Romero Cotton dropped a spot to second at 197 lbs.

Below are the national pairings for the Lopers with current national rankings.

125 lbs.
Connor Bolling (Jr., Central City, 32-12) Vs. # 5 Matt Turek (Gannon, Pa.)
Next Round: # 8 Garrett Evans (Ouachita Baptist) or # 7 Josh Kiefer (Indianapolis)

133 lbs.
# 1 Daniel DeShazer (Jr., Wichita, Kans., 35-5) vs. Mike Rhone (St. Cloud State)
Next Round: # 4 Nick Crume (Indianapolis) or Karl Lightner (Shippensburg, Pa.)

141 lbs.
Keith Surber (Fr-R, O'Fallon, Ill., 23-9) vs. Ryan Skonieczny (Findlay, Ohio)
Next Round: # 6 Preston Bowshier (Wheeling Jesuit, W.V.) or # 5 Josh Myers (Ouachita Baptist)

149 lbs.
# 6 Destin McCauley (So., No. Sioux City, S.D., 23-7) vs. Andrew Bannister (Notre Dame)
Next Round: # 2 Keenan Hegarty (Maryville) or Scott Bosak (Belmont Abbey, N.C.)

157 lbs.
# 5 Chase White (Jr., Lincoln, 14-7) vs. # 8 Greg Hegarty (Maryville)
Next Round: # 6 Sean Turner (Anderson, S.C.) vs. Michael Springer (Shippensburg, Pa.)

165 lbs.
Devin Aguirre (Jr., Ponca City, Okla., 28-14) vs. Nick Fishback (Wisconsin-Parkside)
Next Round: # 6 Angelo Bortoluzzi (Mercyhurst, Pa.) or # 5 Dimitri Willis (Maryville)
197 lbs.
# 2 Romero Cotton (Jr., Hutchinson, Kans.) vs. # 8 Evan Rosborough (Lake Erie, Ohio)
Next Round: Chris Di Lorio (Long Island-Post, N.Y.) or Joe Gomez (Northern State)

Danger's Evans IFL Special Teams Player of the Week

RB Tory Harrison, DL Jeremiah Price & KR Troy Evans
Take Home Honors

The Indoor Football League (IFL) is proud to announce the Week 1 Players of the Week.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tory Harrison (RB, Sioux Falls)

Storm RB Tory Harrison (5'11,200, Southern Mississippi) helped propel the Storm to a 66-42 victory over the Bemidji Axemen with 91 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in Week 1. Harrison also added 11 kick return yards and finished with 102 all-purpose yards. After week one, Harrison currently leads the IFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The Storm rushed for six touchdowns in Week 1. Sioux Falls goes on the road again in Week 2 as the team travels to face inter-conference rival, the Cedar Rapids Titans.

Honorable Mention: Houston Lillard (QB, Tri-Cities Fever), Willie Copeland (QB, Colorado Ice), Washaun Ealey (RB Cedar Rapids Titans) Bryan Pray (WR, Cedar Rapids Titans)

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jeremiah Price (DL, Cedar Rapids)

2012 United Bowl MVP Jeremiah Price (6'2,255, Oklahoma State) turned out one of the more impressive defensive performances in league history last week. Price gained four quarterback sacks in route to the Titans 51-20 over the Iowa Barnstormers in the inaugural "Iowa Bowl". He also had a forced fumble. Price has now racked up 31.5 sacks in his career and is second among active players only behind Titans teammate Xzavie Jackson (49.5). Price and the Titans prepare for a rematch of the 2014 United Conference Championship game against the Sioux Falls Storm this week

Honorable Mention: Jujuan Harley (DB, Bemidji Axemen), T.J Simmons (DB, Iowa barnstormer), Xzavie Jackson (DL, Cedar Rapids Titans) ,Dontrell Johnson (DB, Green Bay Blizzard)


KR Troy Evans, one of the more versatile players in the IFL ,helped the Danger clinch 52-35 victory against the Blizzard a with a decisive kick return for a touchdown. In a back and forth battle up until the third quarter, Evans (5'9,202, Marshall University) grabbed a Blizzard kickoff late in the quarter and ran it 58 yards back to help give the Danger a 17 point lead that they would never relinquish. Evans finished the game with two kick returns for 68 yards and a touchdown. He also added six receptions for 41 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Brown Goes for 22 as Lopers End the 2014-15 Season

Junior reserve guard McKenzie Solberg scored 26 points and the Central Oklahoma Bronchos women's basketball team finished on an 18-5 run to pull away from Nebraska Kearney, 90-70, Tuesday night in an MIAA Tournament game in Edmond, Okla.

Sixth-seeded UCO improves to 17-12 and advances to Kansas City where they'll face nationally-ranked Pittsburg State Friday night. UNK ends the year at 12-17.

Shooting 57% (35 of 61) from the field, UCO got a staggering 49 points off its bench to outscore UNK 47-29 in the second half. The Lopers did lead 18-11 seven minutes in and held a two-point lead with 15:32 to play.

In a game with 10 ties and nine lead changes, the Bronchos went on an 18-9 run midway through the second half to lead 68-59. This key stretch included two of UCO's six made threes.

UNK quickly fought back, getting a five straight points from Grand Island freshman guard McKenzie Brown to make it a four-point game. However, UCO built the lead back to seven and then didn't miss in the final 4:56, going 7 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 at the line.

"I don't what they shot in the last 10 minutes but pretty much every one they threw up went in," said UNK head coach Kevin Chaney. "Our communication just wasn't very good tonight. We stayed with them for three quarters of the game but, at crunch time, they got back door cuts and our miscommunication on screens allowed them some open looks."

A 39% shooter on the season who came in averaging seven points per game, Solberg made 10 of 13 shots (2 of 5 threes) and went 4 of 5 at the line to reach her game-high point total.

UCO also got 15 points and three assists from sophomore reserve guard Marley Anderson with 6-2 senior starter Kylie Mayes going 7 of 7 from the field to tally 19.

The Bronchos needed the production from its bench as starting forward Julia Mason suffered a knee injury seven minutes in and didn't return. She is the team's second leading scorer at 10.6 per game.

Winning the battle on the glass by four and having 13 second chance points, UNK shot 40% (25 of 62) from the field, including a 9 of 25 effort from behind the arc. The 25 attempts were one short of the season-high.

Brown was the main bomber, going 5 of 14 from long distance to tie her season-high of 22 points. The 14 long range attempts are the second most in school history, trailing only the 19 Debi Johnson took in a January 2010 win over Colorado Mesa.

Next, junior guard Laramey Lewis (Trenton) had 17 points, seven boards (four offensive), three assists and three steals with senior post Amarah Williams (St. Louis, Mo.) providing 13 points and eight rebounds (four offensive).

Finally, senior reserve post Mariam Ridgewell (Boise, Idaho) had four points, two assists and a board in her final collegiate game. She and Williams were UNK's seniors this year.

"Our girls are fantastic and I wouldn't trade them for the world," said Chaney. "We had a decent season. We started with only eight players but got better and had a nice little winning streak at one point. We competed in pretty much every game and I think we were fun to watch."

Three Loper Men Qualify for National Indoor Meet

The Nebraska Kearney track & field team has qualified three men for the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships March 13-14 in Birmingham, Ala.

The meet will take place at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The CrossPlex and the University of Alabama Huntsville will serve as co-hosts.

Lincoln senior Dillon Schrodt leads the way as he ranks second nationally in the heptathlon with 5,429 points. Pittsburg State freshman Tanner McNutt (5,438) had the highest point total in a meet this season with three other MIAA men also qualifying in this event.

Schrodt is a two-time indoor All-American, finishing seventh in the hep in 2013 (7th/5,185) and third in 2014 (3rd/5,336).

Next, Kimball senior Brady Land ranks third in the long jump thanks to his school record leap of 25-0.75. Only Lutalo Boyce of Texas A & M-Kingsville (25-7.25) and Chadron State freshman Damarcus Simpson (25-4.50) had a better jump this regular season.

Finally, Rushville sophomore Cole Wellnitz ranks 14th in the mile at 4:08.96. Adams State senior Matt Adams leads the country (3:59.89) with the eighth fastest time belonging to Wuoi Mach of Michigan's Grand Valley State (4:07.75).

A top eight finish is good for All-American honors. Spencer Huff ('08) is UNK's only D2 indoor All-American in the long jump while no Loper runner has earned that honor in the mile.

Cambridge junior Kalen Farr almost made it to Alabama as he ranked 15th nationally in the hep (5,037 points). A total of 14 were selected.

Below is when UNK's qualifiers compete

Friday, March 13th
Schrodt, First three Heptathlon events (9:45 a.m.)
Wellnitz, Mile Prelims (4:45 p.m.)
Land, Long Jump Finals (5:05 p.m.)

Saturday, March 14th
Schrodt, Last three Heptathlon events (9:00 a.m.)
Wellnitz, Mile Finals (4:25 p.m.)

Nebraska-Kearney track & field team members Kevin Carder, Dillon Schrodt and Jackie Ziemke have been selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 7 teams, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).

To be eligible for this squad, a student-athlete must carry a 3.30 cumulative GPA, be a starter or key reserve and been at his/her current school for one academic year. Finally, sports information directors (SID's) vote on the makeup of the Academic All-American and All-District teams.

District 7 includes schools from the MIAA, NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) and GAC (Great American Conference).

This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division Academic All-America Team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.

Carder maintains a 3.99 GPA as Political Science major. Currently running across Europe, the Albion native was the Lopers team MVP in cross country in each of the past two years while being an NCAA provisional qualifier at 10,000 meters this spring.

In the ring, Ziemke (Waco) earned All-American honors in the shot this past March thanks to a third place finish. Also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she has a 3.93 GPA in Business Administration.

A junior from Lincoln North Star, Schrodt was an All-American in the heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor meet with a third place finish. At last week's NCAA Outdoor meet, he placed ninth in the decathlon and also was a qualifier in the 110 hurdles. He maintains a 3.86 GPA in Math (grades 7-12).

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