Missouri Western’s men’s basketball team faced off in its fourth game of the season against Minnesota Crookston across town at the St. Joseph Civic Arena.
Missouri Western overcame a 28-point deficit at half time and brought it within five but couldn’t seal the deal, falling 83-74In the 28th annual Hillyard Tip-off Classic, Missouri Western was down 47-29 at halftime, but the game was long from from over.
Harrison Cleary for the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles scored 20 points in the first half and was having his way with the Griffons but was held to only nine points in the second half.
Crookston led 63-35 with 11:48 to go in the game when the Griffons went on a 21-10 run to close the deficit to 15 points with six minutes left.
Missouri Western was knocking on the door with 1:33 left on the clock and down 75-70 but could not finish the comeback.
After being outscored 47-29 in the first half, the Griffons won the second half 46-35.
“We had to keep our heads in it and not get down. Coach Sundance was telling us to just keep taking shots and pick up our teammates. Our time will come. Our opportunities will come — just stay in it,” said Senior guard Tyus Millhollin.
Millhollin finished with 15 points in the game with 12 after the half.
Reese Glover ended with 14 points and had two big three-pointers in the Griffons’ second half run. Glover wasn’t satisfied with the loss but was proud of the team effort.
“Credit to my teammates to help me get open and make shots. I just want to do what my team needs me to do to win games. Coach Sundance was putting the confidence in me to take open shots like any good coach does and I was making them,” said freshman guard Reese Glover.
Jonathan Mesmacque played a season-high of 32 minutes and going 2-3 from three and scoring all eight of his points in the second half.
Mesmacque wasn’t satisfied with the first half of the game and believes his team needs to do a better job of shutting down the main scorer on the other side.
“We weren’t the most intense team on the floor in the first half but that changed in the last 20 minutes. When you go against another player on the other team that is hitting his shots someone needs to step up and slow his rhythm,” said junior Jonathan Mesmacque.
Missouri Western was 7 -15 for 47% from behind the three-point line in the second half. The Griffons won the rebound battle, rebounding 38 boards to Crookston’s 35.
Missouri Western ended the night with just nine turnovers, and Minnesota Crookston ended with 10 turnovers.
The Griffons head back to campus to play Missouri S&T at the MWSU fieldhouse on Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. in the Looney Complex.