SEDALIA, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team stands alone at the top of the Region 16 rankings after defeating the State Fair Community College Roadrunners 89-67 Wednesday evening, Jan. 25, in Sedalia, Mo.
The Grizzlies, now 17-5 overall and 3-0 in the region, went into the contest tied with the Roadrunners for the best region record and came out on top and with their first region road win of the season. The Roadrunners are 12-8 overall and 2-1 in the region.
“This game was tough to figure out,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “The main reason we won was our transition defense in the second half. Once we made them score five-on-five, we were able to grind it out and make our run.”
The Grizzlies hit 34 of 68 attempts from the field for 50 percent, eight of 16 3-point shots for 50 percent and 13 of 19 free throws for 68 percent. Sophomore Gage Wooten led the team’s offensive charge with 27 points, hitting 11 of 17 field goals, three of five 3-pointers and two of three free throws. Freshman Joe Northington followed with 13 points, hitting five of nine from the field, both of his 3-point attempts and two of his three free throws.
The Roadrunners hit 23 of 64 attempts from the field for 36 percent, none of their 10 3-point attempts, and 21 of their 32 shots from the charity stripe for 66 percent. Kenny Cherry led the team in scoring with 20 points, followed by Fred Wilson and Alfonso Houston each with 10.
“Our bench did a great job again,” Walker said, pointing out the Grizzlies’ bench outscored the Roadrunners’ 34-11. Northington and freshman Kervin Rameau had a combined 20 points off the bench.
“We didn’t rebound as well as we should have, but we were guarding them well enough that it didn’t end up hurting us,” Walker added.
The Grizzlies will have a week off before they take the court again at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, against Region 16 rival Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. The Grizzlies defeated the Cardinals 76-71 in an overtime thriller Jan. 14 at the West Plains Civic Center.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, including complete game statistics, visit the team’s website at http://www.wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.