By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
SHAWNEE, OK - The Missouri Western men's basketball team shot 50 percent in the first half, led by as many as 10 points and led by four at halftime.
Oklahoma Baptist, however, outscored the Griffons 43-28 in the second half, forced 22 total turnovers and the Bison held on for a 78-67 win Thursday at the Noble Complex in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The Griffons (1-2) shot just 34.5 percent in the second half, and were outscored 27-13 over the final 9:26 of game time. The Bison also scored 27 points off of the Missouri Western's 22 giveaways. OBU also nabbed 13 total steals.
"They out-toughed and outplayed us the second half," Missouri Western coach Will Martin said on KFEQ Radio afterward. "We have to do a better job adjusting. I thought we did a good job preparing for their (defensive) pressure. I knew before the game it'd be an issue. We can't turn the ball over 22 times."
Missouri Western led 38-28 with 2:58 left in the first half, sparked by five first-half threes from Reese Glover, but OBU closed the first half on a 7-1 run to limit Western's halftime advantage to 39-35.
The Griffons led 54-51 with 9:26 remaining, but a three-pointer by OBU's Trey Green tied the game at 54-54 just 19 seconds later, and Western never regained the lead after that.
"We have to try and get advantages, keep advantages and attack the advantage and I don't think we did that tonight," Martin said. "I thought that we had opportunities."
Oklahoma Baptist (1-2), who's won 43 of their last 51 home games, shot a blistering 60.9 percent in the second half. Trey Doomes led four Bison in double figures with a game-high 25 points.
Glover led the Griffons with 18 points on six made threes. Julius Dixon had 17 points and a team-best seven rebounds. Taye Fields had 10 points and six boards.
Despite the setback, Martin remains confident in the potential and capability of his team.
"We have to decide individually and collectively that we're going to change our approach every single day in order for us to become a great team," Martin said. "I think that we can. I think we have the right pieces."
Missouri Western is back home to face Rockhurst on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Coverage starts at 6:30 on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3).
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