The Minnesota Crookston women's basketball team almost came all the way back.
The Golden Eagles, despite trailing by 15 at halftime, clawed their way to within one point midway through the fourth quarter on a Bren Fox layup.
But they couldn't finish the job, as Nebraska-Kearney finished the game on a 14-5 run to win, 79-69, in the season opener for both teams on Friday night in Kearney, Neb.
Fox, a sophomore center, led the way for Minnesota Crookston with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and eight rebounds. Mary Burke (Rs. Fr., F) added 13 points while Paige Cornale (So., G) scored 11.
Julia Peplinski (So., F) contributed with six points and six rebounds off the bench.
As a team, the Golden Eagles shot 52 percent from the floor and 35 percent from 3-point range, while also out-rebounding Nebraska-Kearney 39-32. However, they were hamstrung by committing 20 turnovers and missing six of 11 free throws.
The Lopers pulled away after an evenly-played first quarter to lead by as much as 16 in the second, but Minnesota Crookston outscored them, 25-14, in the third quarter thanks to some hot shooting.
The Golden Eagles kept it a two-possession game until two minutes to go, when a Nebraska-Kearney three essentially ended all hopes of a comeback.
Minnesota Crookston is back in action Saturday afternoon against Northwest Missouri State in Kearney. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.