Jan 14, 2024

MWSU WBB dominate Bearcats, Griffon men break long streak against Northwest

Posted Jan 14, 2024 2:49 AM
Tiani Ellison (21) had a career-high 18 points in a 61-47 win over Northwest Missouri State Saturday. Photo by A.J. Robbins.
Tiani Ellison (21) had a career-high 18 points in a 61-47 win over Northwest Missouri State Saturday. Photo by A.J. Robbins.


St. Joseph Post

The Missouri Western women's basketball team jumped on Northwest Missouri State from the get-go, leading 20-10 after one quarter.

The Griffons (11-4, 6-3 MIAA) never trailed, leading by as many as 16 points, and rolling to a 61-47 win over the Bearcats on Saturday at the MWSU Fieldhouse in St. Joseph.

Missouri Western held Northwest's offense in check all game, as the Bearcats were only 16-of-58 from the field, including 4-of-20 from three.

The Griffons, winners in six of their last seven games, shot 44.2 percent (23-of-52) Saturday, and forced 23 turnovers on the defensive end.

Missouri Western scored 29 points off of those giveaways.

Tiani Ellison led the Griffons with a career-high 18 points to go with six rebounds and three steals. Connie Clarke had her second double-double of the season, logging 16 points and 10 rebounds. Clarke also had three steals, three blocks and two assists.

Jayme Jackson finished with 13 points, three boards, three assists and two steals.

Caely Kesten did the heavy lifting for Northwest, scoring 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

Missouri Western has now won the last four meetings against Northwest and eight of the last 11 against the Bearcats.

Candi Whitaker interview

Full audio broadcast

MWSU men, at long last, get one against Northwest Missouri State


Not much more needs to be said than that. Missouri Western (12-3, 6-3 MIAA), after losing their last 24 matchups against Northwest Missouri State, finally got one on the Bearcats, beating the No. 14 team in the country, 76-70, at the MWSU Fieldhouse Saturday.

Missouri Western, now on a four-game winning streak, jumped out a 16-5 start in the first 6.5 minutes and they never trailed in the game.

The Griffons led by seven points at halftime and led 60-46 with 6:17 to go.

Northwest (11-4, 7-2 MIAA) didn't go quietly, as the Bearcats got to within 68-64 with 1:21 to play.

Missouri Western was solid at the free throw line throughout, however, making 27-of-33 at the stripe, including 15-of-17 in the second half.

Northwest, the No. 1 free throw shooting team in the MIAA, missed 11 at the foul line, going 26-of-37.

JaRon Thames led four Griffons in double figures with 16 points, including a 10-of-11 effort at the foul line. Thames also led the team with eight rebounds and four assists.

Julius Dixon dropped 14 points. Taye Fields added 12 points, while Zion Swader finished with 10.

Swader and Fields, who both finished with four fouls, were somewhat limited in minutes early, as they both picked up two first half fouls.

Kiani Saxon is also to be credited, as he scored nine points to go with four blocks, two steals and two assists.

Missouri Western shot a solid 46.8 percent (22-of-47) on the day.

Wes Dreamer led Northwest with 24 points and eight boards. Bennett Stirtz had 13, Jack Ratigan scored 12 off the bench, while Isaiah Jackson added 12 points to go with five boards and five assists.

It's Missouri Western's first win over Northwest in men's basketball since Jan. 12, 2013 - 4,018 days ago. The teams will meet again in Maryville on February 24.

Both Griffon teams stay home this Thursday to host Newman. The women's game is at 5:30, the men's at 7:30. Both are on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3, 680kfeq.com, KFEQ app).

Will Martin interview

JaRon Thames interview

Full audio broadcast

Zion Swader (2).
Zion Swader (2).
JaRon Thames (24) steps back for a baseline shot.
JaRon Thames (24) steps back for a baseline shot.

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.