HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Turnovers and an inability to connect on their perimeter shots kept the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team from victory Thursday night, Nov. 17, in Hutchinson, Kan.
The Grizzlies, now 4-2, fell to the 15th-ranked Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons 62-71 in a tough road game. They will face Butler County Community College at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in El Dorado, Kan.
“We had our chances to win, but we did not take advantage of them,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said of the loss to Hutchinson. “We took good shots, but they just didn’t fall from the three. We made sure to get plenty of shots up in practice and the shoot around. We really shot it pretty well in warm-up.”
The Grizzlies failed to connect on any of their 14 attempts from 3-point range. Overall from the field, they hit 25 of 60 attempts for 42 percent and 12 of 19 shots from the free throw line for 63 percent.
The also committed 23 turnovers during the contest. “We have to cut down on the careless turnovers,” Walker stressed. “If each person has one less turnover and we shoot our percentage from the three, we win.”
Sophomore Gage Wooten led the Grizzlies in scoring and rebounding with 23 and 13, respectively, for a double-double. Eight of Wooten’s 13 rebounds came off the offensive glass. Sophomore Marin Petric followed with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Hutchinson shot 27 of 53 from the field for 51 percent, two of nine from 3-point range for 22 percent and 15 of 26 from the charity stripe for 58 percent. The Blue Dragons’ leading scorers were Mark Braden 18 points, A.J. Spencer 17 and Anthony Thomas 12.
One bright spot for the Grizzlies were their 20 offensive rebounds. “I am proud of that, but it is little consolation,” Walker said.
“We have a day to regroup for Butler, another tough one on the road,” he added.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://www.wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.