Missouri Western welcomed the St. Mary (Kan.) Spires to the MWSU Fieldhouse for the last non-conference game of the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 30.
The matchup began strong with Western gaining an almost immediate two-point lead after forward Cedric Clinkscales dropped an easy layup.
After that strong start, the game began to pick up momentum, and the Griffons began to pull further away from the Spires.
The Spires finally woke up and started responding to the court action and sunk a few baskets, but still were unable to catch up for a while.
After some struggle, USM put up a few more points, tied the game and even gained an extremely short-lived lead before the Griffons regained control and finished the half leading 49-43 after a perfectly placed three-pointer by guard Ryan Devers.
The second half of the game belonged to the Griffons, as they shot out further and further ahead of the Spires as the game continued to progress. The Spires resisted and attempted to close the gap, but resistance was futile.
The Griffons stayed in the lead, keeping the gap at double-digits for the remainder of the game.
When the game was over, the Griffons dished out a 96-77 win over USM.
“We shared the ball and created shots for each other,” guard Cortrez Colbert said. “When we made stops, it opened up our offensive game.”
The victory over the Spires boosted the Griffons’ record up to 5-3 overall.
“St. Mary is a very versatile team that had a strong offense. But, in the end, our defense outplayed them,” Devers said.
At the end of the game, the Griffons ended up with four players scoring in the double-digits. Among those, were guards Cortrez Colbert and Dareon Jones with 14 points each. Forward Cedric Clinkscales and Devers finished with 11 points each.
Western’s bench was able to put up more points than St. Mary’s. The Griffon bench scored 37 out of the 96 total points for the team, leaving the starters with 59 points among them.
The Griffons were also able to surpass St. Mary in points in the paint, landing 42 total.
Western had a cumulative six blocks with Clinkscales having half of them. The team had a total of nine steals with guard Adarius Fulton on top with three.
The Griffons had a collective 20 assists on the night, with Devers topping the game chart with seven assists. Fulton and Colbert finished with four assists a piece.
Western was able to capitalize and scored 16 points off of 12 Spire turnovers. They were nearly perfect, only turning over the ball four times.
As a team, the Griffons made 12 of 15 from the line and 10 of 22 from the arc.
The Griffons will welcome the Fort Hays State Tigers in the opening MIAA matchup of the season on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.