Nov 15, 2021 3:49 AM

Missouri Western men lose double-digit lead, fall to Henderson State in overtime Sunday

Posted Nov 15, 2021 3:49 AM
Photo by John Roushkolb.
Photo by John Roushkolb.

By TOMMY REZAC

St. Joseph Post

KANSAS CITY -  The Missouri Western saw a double-digit lead slip away late, as Henderson State topped the Griffons 81-77 in overtime at the Central Region Challenge in Kansas City Sunday.

The Griffons led 39-34 at the half and held the lead for more than 30 minutes in the contest, but couldn't withstand a late run by the Reddies.

Missouri Western led 55-43 with just over 12 minutes left and 68-58 with 4:30 to go, but a 12-2 run by the Reddies forced OT and Henderson State (1-1) started the overtime period on a 5-0 run.

"We have to rebound and finish plays," head coach Will Martin said. "That's not just a toughness thing, that's a technique thing as well. So, as a staff, we'll look at that and we'll adjust."

After sitting for most of the first half with two early fouls, JaQuaylon "Q" Mays erupted to start the second half, scoring six straight points to help the Griffons extend their lead.

Mays, for a fourth straight game, led his team in scoring with 22 points - 21 of that came after halftime.

JaRon Thames came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points. Alex John also scored a season-best 14 points to go with seven rebounds. Will Eames was just shy of a double-double, scoring eight points and grabbing a team-best 11 boards.

The Griffons shot 42.4 percent from the field, but just 6-of-29 from three and 15-of-22 from the free throw line.

Some strong performances, and Western played well enough to win for most of the game, but the final stretch belonged to Henderson State and the Griffons fall to 1-3 on the young season, suffering their second overtime loss in the first four games.

"Perspective is going to be huge for us," Martin said. "I told the guys, and I truly believe this - in moments like this, you have a tremendous opportunity to respond. I've said this a lot, you learn more in the losses."

The Griffons return to action Friday to open the Hillyard Men's Tip-Off Classi,c and will play in the MWSU Fieldhouse for the first time this season. Missouri Western hosts Oklahoma Baptist Friday, with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.  The game will be carried on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3).

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