Missouri Western stuns No. 1 team
Harris tallies 26 points as Griffons topple Missouri Southern
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Missouri Western upset top-ranked Missouri Southern 75-67 on Wednesday night. The Griffons shot 52.2 percent (24-46) from the field with James Harris leading the charge with a game-high 26 points. Western improves to 6-3 overall and 1-2 in MIAA action.
The Griffons nailed 6-of-7 long range shots and 9-of-12 free throws as they took a 41-26 lead into the break against the high powered Lions. After falling behind 2-0 the Griffons went on an 11-0 run. During that stretch the Griffons made 6-of-8 free throw attempts. Western pushed its advantage to 19 points at 34-15 after a three-point basket from Harris with 5:45 to play in the half.
Eight consecutive points by Southern’s Keane Thomann and a basket by Christian Salecich cut the Griffon lead to 38-26 with 1:29 to play before half but a Lavonte Douglas free throw and a Reed Mells jumper helped the Griffons go into half with a 41-26 advantage.
Harris scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting while the Griffons connected on 13-of-23 field goals for 56.5 percent. The Lions shot 37.9 percent (11-29) from the floor with Thomann accounting for 10 points.
The second half was a back and forth battle with both teams going on mini runs. Western used a 12-6 spurt early in the half to build its largest lead of the half at 59-43 after Harris nailed a three-pointer with 11:57 to play.
The Lions cut the Griffon lead to 10 multiple times down the stretch but Western responded and held on for the upset.
Western made 11-of-14 three-pointers on the night with Harris connecting on 5-of-6 from deep. Deionta Mitchell finished with 14 points, including a trio of big three-pointers in the second half. Mells also finished in double figures by tallying 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting coming off the bench.
Southern shot 41.8 percent (28-67) from the field as Thomann finished with a double-double by scoring 22 points and snagging 13 rebounds while Jason Adams finished with 17 points. The Lions fall to 9-1 overall and 2-1 in the MIAA.