Nov 13, 2021 12:00 PM

MWSU gets off to slow start, falls to Minnesota State-Mankato Friday

Posted Nov 13, 2021 12:00 PM
Stock photo by Arianne Boma.
Stock photo by Arianne Boma.

By TOMMY REZAC

St. Joseph Post

KANSAS CITY - Minnesota-State Mankato got off to a 23-7 start and never waivered, as the Mavericks topped Missouri Western 77-64 in the Central Region Challenge at the Municipal Auditorium on Friday night.

The Griffons (1-2) shot 28.6 percent (8-of-28) in the first half and just 33.3 percent (19-of-57) for the game, while also going 23-of-37 at the free throw line.

Western also never got going from deep, going 3-of-19 from three.

"They did a really good job scouting our team," Griffons head coach Will Martin said. "Taking away the shots we like to get into. So, we have to watch the film and figure out ways we can counter that."

Down 41-24 at halftime, Missouri Western started the second half on a 16-7 run and made it a 48-40 ballgame with 13:21 to play, but the Mavericks (1-0) responded with  a 10-0 run to go up 58-40 with 10:21 left.

Western got some stops and closed to within 62-51 with 6:19 left, but that's as close as the Griffons would get.

Senior Q Mays led his team in scoring for the third consecutive game, notching a game-high 27 points on a tough 10-of-22 shooting night from the floor. Sophomore Will Eames scored 10 points, while freshman Taye Fields and sophomore JaRon Thames each had seven.

Fields, a true freshman from Opelika, Alabama, was a bright spot in an all around frustrating night for the Griffons, leading the team with seven rebounds and tying for the team-high with four steals.

"I was proud of the way we responded for a lot of the second half," Martin said. "You had Taye Fields, a freshman, really step up and gave us some productive minutes. Q (Mays) was good again in terms of giving us a playmaker on the court."

Missouri Western will stay at the Municipal Auditorium on Sunday to face Henderson State. Tip-off is set for 4:15 p.m. Coverage starts at 3:50 on KFEQ Radio (680 AM, 95.3 FM).

"I think our guys are going to respond," Martin said of Sunday's game. "I really do. I keep saying that over and over again, but I believe we have that core with this team."

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