MARYVILLE, Mo. - With the postseason looming, No. 1 Northwest had one of it's toughest tests of the season, escaping a 70-68 victory over Missouri Western.
Senior Lavon Hightower, who led the Griffs in scoring with 20 points, had a chance with less than 10 seconds to go to take the lead. His shot just fell short of the Basket.
The Western men employed the zone defense to try and counteract one of the most potent offenses in the country. For most of the game, it worked.
In the first half, Western was able to hold Northwest to just 14 percent from behind-the-arc. Where the Bearcats average over 40 percent from that distance.
Following Hightower in scoring was Freshman Tryell Carroll who added 18 points of his own.
The Bearcats fought through the tough test of Western thanks to 29 points from Senior Joey Witthus. Behind Witthus was freshman Diego Bernard, who dropped 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Next up for Northwest and Western are road games against Washburn. Northwest takes on the Ichabods in Topeka Thursday night. The Western men look to grab one last win on the regular season Saturday.