HAYS, Kan. (Griffon Athletics) – Griffon Men's Basketball (8-11, 2-6) battled back from a big early deficit before falling 84-74 on the road to Fort Hays State (13-5, 7-2), Thursday night.
Trailing by 13 at the half, the Griffons got hot in the second half to get the Fort Hays State lead to as few as three points with 2:32 to go (73-70), but couldn't draw the game even or get over the hump.
The Griffons began the game up 5-0, but Fort Hays State answered with a 26-2 run to stake a 19-point lead Missouri Western's second half run couldn't conquer
FHSU edged its lead to 15 with 11:28 to go, but a 13-5 MWSU run cut the Tiger lead to 63-57 with 8:44 to go
The two teams traded punches and runs for the next seven minutes before Fort Hays State pulled away in the final minute, outscoring MWSU 7-1 over the final 71 seconds, mostly at the free throw line
After shooting just 29 percent in the first half, MWSU used 56 percent shooting in the second to finish the game at 41 percent
The Tigers knocked down 21-of-26 free throws while MWSU went 17-for-26 at the line
Fort Hays State made three more baskets than Missouri Western, both teams knocked down nine three-point attempts
Lavon Hightower scored a game and season-high 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, adding a team-high seven rebounds with three assists and two blocks. He was 5-of-7 from three-point range and scored 20 of his points in the second half
Tyrell Carroll scored 20 points with three assists and two steals. Carroll was 8-of-10 at the free throw line
J.J. Jones had a season-high seven points to go with three rebounds in 16 minutes
Bryan Hudson and Tyus Millhollin each scored seven
Missouri Western travels to Nebraska-Kearney (6-12, 1-8) on Saturday, Jan. 26
Northwest Missouri handed UNK its sixth loss in the last seven games, 85-57, Thursday night