ST. JOSEPH (MWSU Athletic Communications) – It took five extra minutes of basketball, but Missouri Western (10-12, 4-7 MIAA) picked up one of its best wins of the season on Saturday, outlasting Pittsburg State (14-7, 7-5 MIAA) for a 95-87 overtime win.
Neither team could pull away in a back-and-forth first 11 minutes that featured seven lead changes.
Alex Martin's put-back dunk sparked a 24-9 run that gave the Griffons their largest lead of the game at 14 points with 1:28 to play in the first half.
The Griffons held a 43-35 lead going into the intermission, limiting one of the top offenses in the MIAA to just 39 percent shooting.
Lavon Hightower had 16 points in the first half.
Tyrell Carroll knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the Missouri Western lead to six points with 2:17 remaining in the second half.
Tyus Millhollin's three point attempt was no good on the Griffons' final possession of regulation, giving the Gorillas the final possession with 23 seconds remaining.
Grant Lozoya, the MIAA's leading scorer, missed the potential game-winner before the Gorillas' tip-in layup rattled out, sending the game into overtime.
With 1:38 remaining in overtime, Hightower found Millhollin in the left corner for a game-sealing three.
The Griffons shot 11-of-14 from the free-line in overtime.
The 95 points scored by the Griffons is the programs' most since a 97-57 win over Baptist Bible College on Dec. 14, 2014.
Saturday's win gives Missouri Western its first MIAA home win.
Hightower set a new career-high with 33 points. His team-high 11 rebounds also gives Hightower his seventh double-double of the season.
Bryan Hudson scored 21 points, marking the ninth time in the last 10 games he has scored double-figures.
Millhollin and Carroll each added 14 points.
Lozoya finished with a game-high 35 points for Pittsburg State.
The Griffons will travel to Lincoln (15-5, 8-3 MIAA) on Feb. 7.
Lincoln topped the Griffons 79-68 in the teams' first meeting on Dec. 8.
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