WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team got back on the winning track Thursday night, Feb. 23, with a 64-48 victory over Northeast Mississippi Community College of Booneville at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
The win upped the Grizzlies’ overall season record to 21-8.
“We got a little sloppy at the end, and they shot very well for the first few minutes of the game, but in between those two times, we did a pretty good job defensively,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “We knew our scouting reports and guarded accordingly for most of the game.”
The Grizzlies’ defense only allowed the Tigers 19 buckets out of 50 attempts from the field for 38 percent and three baskets out of seven attempts from 3-point range for 48 percent. The Grizzlies also outrebounded the Tigers 43 to 27.
“We were a lot better defensively,” Walker said. “We were in the right spots most of the time. We were just more of a complete team.”
The Grizzlies hit 27 of 55 attempts from the field for 49 percent but only four of 19 shots from 3-point range for 21 percent. They were quite effective from the free throw line, however, hitting six of their seven shots for 86 percent. The Tigers hit seven of 12 free throws for 58 percent.
“We did a good job sharing the basketball and making the right play most of the time,” Walker said, pointing to the Grizzlies’ 16 assists. “Our point guards did a good job of getting us into our sets and putting people in position to score.”
Sophomore Gage Wooten led the team in scoring with 19 points, followed by freshmen Kervin Rameau and Miles Gatewood each with 12 points. Wooten also had five rebounds, three of which came from the offensive glass. Gatewood had four rebounds and three assists, and Rameau collected three rebounds.
Walker said he was very proud of his team and its adjustment to some lineup changes made for this game. “We moved Kervin and Keaton (Jackson) into a starting role and brought Miles and Farbod (Farman) off the bench. All four did a great job handling the change,” Walker said.
The Tigers’ leading scorer was Tadarious Coburn, who had 12 points.
The Grizzlies will close out the regular season at home Saturday, Feb. 25, with a 7 p.m. contest against Region 16 rival Moberly Area Community College from Moberly, Mo., in the civic center arena. The contest will determine first seed in the Region 16 Championship Tournament March 9-10 at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. Right now, Moberly (18-7) holds a slight edge in the region standings with a 5-1 record. The Grizzlies are 5-2.
“We want to invite everyone to come out and bring a friend to Saturday’s game,” Walker said. “A win means at least a share of the Region 16 regular season championship. We’ll need all the help we can get, and we want to send our sophomores off with a great experience.”
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.