WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team will take the court Tuesday night, Jan. 8, against Volunteer State Community College, Gallatin, Tenn., with an 11-7 record after going 1-1 in the Grizzly New Year’s Classic this past weekend at the West Plains Civic Center.
The Grizzlies defeated Southern University of Shreveport, La., 74-66 Friday night, Jan. 4, but fell to Iowa Western Community College of Council Bluffs 79-70 Saturday in the final game of the tournament.
“The Shreveport game wasn’t our prettiest by any stretch of the imagination,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “They shot above 50 percent from the field and the 3-point line, and they were comfortable taking several deep threes. We were able to win by making a couple of adjustments defensively at halftime and by doing a very good job of attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line.”
Game statistics show Southern hit 25 of 43 shots from the field for 58.1 percent, 12 of 23 shots from 3-point range for 52.2 percent and four of seven free throw attempts for 57.1 percent.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were 27 of 46 from the field for 58.7 percent, five of 14 from 3-point range for 35.7 percent and 15 or 23 from the free throw line for 65.2 percent. The Grizzlies also outrebounded Southern 23-18 and had nine assists, five blocks and four steals.
Leading scorers for the Grizzlies were freshman guards Devaugntah Williams with 27 points and Arroyo Edwards with 20 points. Sophomore forward Keaton Jackson added 11 points. Southern was led on the scoreboard by Donald Francis with 22 points, followed by A’Torri Shine with 16 and Joseph James with 14.
Saturday’s game, Walker said, came down to a 7-point run Iowa Western made in the second half. “We knew if we didn’t allow them any transition baskets, our chances of winning increased greatly, but we didn’t quite get that done,” he explained.
“They were very good from the free throw line, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. Those are things that can’t happen against a good team,” Walker added.
The game also saw a technical difficulty when a cord malfunction caused the scoreboard to go dark for a few moments.
Statistically, the Grizzlies hit 24 of 51 shots from the field for 47.1 percent, five of 10 shots from 3-point range for 50 percent and 17 of 27 shots from the charity stripe for 63 percent. They also had 23 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and two steals.
Leading scorers were freshman forward Kris Frazier with 22 points, Williams with 16 points, Edwards 15, and freshman guard Desmond Buerge with 10. Frazier also led the team in rebounding with eight grabs.
Iowa Western’s Reivers shot 27 of 48 from the field for 56.3 percent, six of 18 from 3-point range for 33.3 percent and 19 of 22 from the free throw line for 86.4 percent. Leading scorers were Devin Brooks with 15 points, followed by Tavian Pomlee and Billydee Williams each with 14 points, and Dinjiyl Walker with 13 points.
“We want to thank the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety for sponsoring this classic,” Coach Walker said.
Tip off for Tuesday’s game against Volunteer State Community College is 7 p.m. at the civic center arena.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.