Game #1

Emporia State Hornets (0-0, 0-0 MIAA)

at Neb.-Kearney Lopers (0-0, 0-0 MIAA)

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 7:30 p.m. Kearney, Neb. Health & Sports Center

Series Record: UNK leads 24-21 Last Meeting: at UNK 85, ESU 58 (1/18/2019)

Radio: KFFX 104.9FM Internet Audio: kvoe.com

Television: None Internet Video: themiaanetwork.com/esuhornets


For the first time since March 12 — a span of 249 days — an Emporia State athletic team will take on an opponent in regular season competition as the Hornets travel to Neb.-Kearney. The Hornets are 15-14 overall in 29 MIAA openers.


This is one of six MIAA game scheduled to open the season. They are the first games scheduled in NCAA Division II this season.

Attendance at all MIAA games will be capped at a maximum of 25% of capacity, with each school have the ability to lower capacity. At UNK the only fans allowed to watch Loper men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling in the Health & Sports Center will be families of the student-athletes.


Craig Doty is 24-34 in his second season at Emporia State. In his eighth season as a head coach at the D2, NAIA, and NJCAA level he is 186-83 with three national championships. In two seasons at Graceland, he was 49-22 and won the 2018 NAIA National Championship in Municipal Auditorium. Prior to Graceland, Doty spent four years as the head coach at Rock Valley College winning two national championships and appearing in three straight NJCAA Division III title games to finish with a 113-28 record. He is 2-2 against Nebraska Kearney.

Kevin Lofton is 239-192 in his 16th year at Neb.-Kearney, but is 83-67 in his sixth year as sole head coach. He is 7-7 against ESU.


The Hornets ended last season 10-18 with players missing a total of 88 games with injuries including season ending injuries to three starters. Emporia State finished the season with a 9-7 home record, matching their most home wins since 2014. The Hornets had five freshmen combine to score 34.3% of their total points), 32.4% of their rebounds, and 42.0% of their assists on the season.



Neb.-Kearney went 16-13, 10-9 in the MIAA last season to finish a game out of fifth place in the conference standings. The Lopers must replace four senior starters.


This will be the 46th meeting between the two teams with Neb.-Kearney holding a 24-21 advantage. The series is tied at 7-7 in MIAA play.


Neb.-Kearney hit ten of 14 three-pointers after halftime on the way to a season high 60 second half points in an 85-58 win over Emporia State. The Hornets jumped out to a 19-11 lead with 7:38 left but the Lopers would go on an 11-0 run to take a 22-19 lead with 3:31 remaining and led 25-23 going to the half. The Lopers hit 11 straight shots during a 25-9 run to take a 52-37 lead with 11:43 left. Neb.-Kearney, who entered the game shooting 35.4% from the three point line, shot 71.4% from beyond the arc in the second half. Gage McGuire led Emporia State with a career high 16 points.


The Hornets travel to Ft. Hays State on Saturday. Tip-off at Gross Coliseum is at 4 p.m.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.