MARYVILLE, Mo. - The Missouri Western men's basketball team lost to Washburn Friday, 101-72, in the semifinals of the MIAA Tournament inside Bearcat Arena in Maryville. The Griffons fall to 14-10 this season and will now have to sit and wait to see if they get an invitation of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
The two teams traded baskets early as the score was tied 4-4 before Washburn took control of the game with a 9-0 run. MWSU hung in there for the first 10 minutes as they trailed 23-15, but then Washburn went on an 18-0 run and led by as many as 30 points in the first half. They led 57-28 at halftime.
Missouri Western played much better after halftime but they could never get the deficit any lower than 25 in the second half. The Griffons shot 51.7% (15-29) in the second 20 minutes and made 5-of-14 three-point field goals, but WU stayed hot then entire game as they still shot 60% (18-30) after halftime and 61.3% (38-62) for the game. The Ichabods also made 14-of-25 three-pointers.
The Griffons ended the game 43.9% (25-57) and 28.0% (7-25) from three, and they were outrebounded 35-27.
Caleb Bennett led Missouri Western with 19 points and Q Mays scored 17. JaRon Thames and Alex John added 11 points each for the Griffons.
MWSU was sixth in the regional rankings early this week as the top six teams in each region qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA selection show will take place at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on NCAA.com as the Central Regional will be at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota March 13-16.