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1st half struggles continue for the Grizzlies in loss to Moberly

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The official Missouri State-West Plains athletics logo    MOBERLY, Mo. – Through much of the season, the million dollar question for the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team has been “how do we put together a complete game?”

The Grizzlies couldn’t answer that question Wednesday night, Feb. 15, at Region 16 rival Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, and it cost them a 97-80 loss. The Grizzlies are now 2-5 in region play and 11-15 overall.

“It’s frustrating, we’ve struggled to put two halves together this year,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Chris Popp said. “Once again, we responded in the second half, but we had put ourselves in too much of a hole in the first.”

The Grizzlies quickly found themselves down double digits to the 14th-ranked Greyhounds early in the first half. At one point, they trailed by 27 points before they eventually went into the halftime break down 53-30, according to a published report in the Moberly Monitor-Index. A defensive surge early in the second half allowed the Grizzlies to narrow the lead to 13, but that was as close as the Greyhounds would let them get for the remainder of the game.

“We had a slow start in the first half, and they came out on fire,” Popp said. “We have to point at ourselves defensively for some of that. At the same time, they hit a lot of tough shots in that stretch. Early on, we settled for too many quick perimeter shots and got ourselves in a hole. We needed to be better defensively, and we were in the second half. It’s amazing how it works. When you play better defensively, things tend to start working offensively. We started getting stops, and that made the difference. When we focus and are aggressive, we’re can be pretty good.”

Redshirt freshman guard Lane Duncan led the Grizzlies in scoring with 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half. He was followed by redshirt freshman point guard Ricky Torres and freshman point guard Quinton Gray with 11 points each.

Five Greyhounds scored in double figures. They included Delfinko Bogan with 21 points, Mar’Qywell Jackson 15, Jabari Antwine 13, and Brandon Better and Leonard Harper-Baker each with 11, according to the published report.

The Grizzlies will close out their season at home with 7 p.m. games against St. Louis Community College Tuesday, Feb. 21; Moberly on Friday, Feb. 24; and College of Faith Prep on Monday, Feb. 27. All games will be in Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.

The Grizzlies will recognize the team’s sophomores Feb. 24 during Sophomore Night activities, and Popp said he hopes fans will come out and give these players a nice send-off. “We look forward to having them (the Greyhounds) here for another shot at them, and we hope everyone will come out and support the team,” he said.

For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website or call 417-255-7991. Complete box scores of the games can be found online, as well.

Filed Under:

Media Contact

  • Chris Popp
  • Head Coach
  • Grizzly Basketball Office
  • 417-255-7991
  • CPopp@MissouriState.edu

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