Missouri Western men’s basketball looks to defend its home court at the 20th annual Hillyard Tip-Off Classic at the MWSU Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday.
Friday the Griffons (2-0) play William Jewell College (1-0). William Jewell features NAIA All-American Nick Larson, who is a 6’6”, 265 pound center. The Griffons will rely on the size of Justin Reid and Levonte Douglas to keep Larson contained in the post. The Cardinals also feature all-conference guards Chris Uz and Mark Mason. William Jewel defeated Central Methodist 75-65 in its first game. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday the Griffons play Rockhurst, which starts its season off against Northwest Missouri State on Friday at the MWSU Field House. They feature 5’11”, 175 pound point guard Najja Nicholson. He averaged 12 points-per-game on an 8-19 squad last season. 6-2 guard Brandon McCann is the other returner who averaged double figures with 10 points-per-game. The contest will take place at 8 p.m.
Western went 1-1 at last season’s Hillyard Classic. The Griffons beat Avila 95-85 in the first game and then lost to Michigan Tech 68-61. It was the fifth loss in 38 games, bringing the Griffons overall record to 33-5 in the classic.