Kyle Perkins had a career-high 31 points but he and his University of Colorado at Colorado Springs went ice cold from the perimeter Friday evening, paving the way for a 79-73 victory by the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at the Lions’ Den.
The Mountain Lions made just one of their 13 3-pointers, allowing the Lopers to erase a seven-point second-half deficit.
Perkins also had 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists. After he made 10 of his 13 first-half field goal attempts, however, the Lopers started sagging deep in the zone. It worked as Perkins was limited to 3-of-12 shooting in the second half.
Tomaul Hawkins added 15 points and 10 rebounds for UCCS (6-10, 2-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Frank McCollum and Eric Davis each had eight points.
Drake Beranek led Nebraska-Kearney (7-8, 5-3 RMAC) with 19 points and seven assists. Garrett Lever added 18 for the Lopers, who shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range.
Perkins had 21 of his points in the first half as the Mountain Lions turned a 25-18 deficit into a 39-30 lead. Perhaps foreshadowing what was to come, though, Nebraska-Kearney scored the final four points of the period to go into the intermission trailing by just five.
The Mountain Lions were leading 52-45 with 12:18 remaining when the Lopers, behind seven points by Jeff Martin, went on an 11-4 run to tie the game. The score was still tied with 6:50 left when UCCS went frigid, missing all four of its shots and committing four turnovers during a 9-2 UNK rally that gave the Lopers a 72-65 lead with two minutes left.
UCCS has now lost three straight and six of its past seven.