Griffons lose heart breaker at Missouri Southern 74-73

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riggertMissouriWesternJOPLIN, Mo. – A heart breaking 74-73 loss at Missouri Southern Wednesday night left the Missouri Western men’s basketball team at 7-18 overall and 3-13 in the MIAA, and sets up a crucial showdown Saturday at Pittsburg State for the Griffons.

Missouri Western had three possessions in the final minute, trailing 74-73, but missed a layup, a jumper and committed a turnover that could have capitalized on three missed Missouri Southern free throws in the same time period.

– The Griffons took what would be their final lead, 73-69, on a Joe Hamilton three with 1:59 left, but did not score again in the game

– Missouri Western was 9-12 from three-point range in the second half to help the Griffons come back from a 35-29 halftime deficit

– MWSU opened the second half on an 8-0 run to take a two-point lead

– For the game, MWSU shot 55.3% from the field and 62.5% from three-point range

– The three point percentage was the highest in a game this season for the Griffons and the field goal percentage was the second highest

– There were nine lead changes and eight ties in the second half alone, 15 ties and 14 lead changes in the game

– Missouri Southern scored 24 of its points off 14 Missouri Western turnovers, the Griffons scored eight points off nine Southern turnovers

– It was the 10th straight loss for Missouri Western in Joplin

– Cole Clearman and TJ Evans led the Griffons with 19 points each

– Clearman was 5-6 from three-point range

– Joe Hamilton and Seth Bonifas had 10 points apiece

– Bonifas and Aaron Emmanuel led the team with six rebounds each

– Emmanuel led the team with eight assists

Missouri Western travels to Pittsburg State (4-19, 2-13) on Saturday for a game with postseason implications. The Griffons currently have a half-game lead on Pittsburg State for the final qualifying spot in the MIAA Tournament.

— MWSU Athletics —

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