Mar 01, 2024

MWSU WBB clinches MIAA regular season title outright, Griffon men bounce back

Posted Mar 01, 2024 5:37 AM
The Missouri Western women's basketball team won the MIAA regular season title outright with a 105-38 win at Newman Thursday. Photo by A.J. Robbins.
The Missouri Western women's basketball team won the MIAA regular season title outright with a 105-38 win at Newman Thursday. Photo by A.J. Robbins.


St. Joseph Post

WICHITA, KS - Missouri Western women's basketball had already clinched a share of the MIAA regular season championship with a win at Northwest Missouri State last Saturday.

The No. 19 Griffons (23-4, 18-3 MIAA) needed just one more win to clinch the title outright.

Western got that win in dominant fashion, drubbing Newman 105-38 at Fugate Gymnasium in Wichita, Kansas Thursday.

The Griffons, winners of 13 straight, ended the first quarter on a 15-3 run to go up 21-10 by the start of the second.

The game was decided in the second, as Missouri Western outscored Newman in that frame 31-6 to go up 52-16 by intermission.

All 15 players on Candi Whitaker's bench played and 14 of them scored. Connie Clarke, who only had to play 16 minutes, scored a game-high 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting. She also had four steals, five rebounds and three assists.

Brionna Budgets was close behind with 16 points on a 3-of-4 clip from long range. Mackenzie Hart came off the bench for 13. She knocked down 3-of-4 from downtown as well.

The Griffons put up 55 bench points and doled out 30 assists with only seven turnovers. Missouri Western shot 60 percent (42-of-70), including 12-of-21 from three.

Newman (2-25), who has lost 14 games in a row, was held to 25.5 percent shooting (13-of-51).

The 105 points Missouri Western put up is tied for the third most ever put up against an NCAA Division II opponent in program history.

It's the fourth time the Griffs have scored 100 points or more this season and the 10th time they've done it under Candi Whitaker.

Brionna Budgets.
Brionna Budgets.
Connie Clarke (left).
Connie Clarke (left).

Candi Whitaker interview

Full audio broadcast

Griffon men get back to form offensively in win at Newman

Josh Book played 29 minutes off the bench in Thursday's game at Newman. He had played 30 total minutes in the previous five games combined.

Book, a redshirt freshman, earned every minute, as he led Missouri Western (16-11, 10-11 MIAA) with a game-high and career-high 26 points in an 86-68 win at Newman in Wichita Thursday.

The win snaps what was a five-game losing streak for Western, as the Griffons earned their first MIAA road win since January 6 at Northeastern State.

Missouri Western shot 54.1% (33-of-61) and saw five players finish in double figures. Book scored his 26 on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He also had six assists and four rebounds.

JaRon Thames was also on with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting. He also had three steals, five assists and boards. Julius Dixon scored 14 on a 4-of-9 performance from long range.

Taye Fields logged his sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also had six assists. Kiani Saxon contributed 10 points and eight boards.

Missouri Western doled out 23 assists while only turning the ball over eight times. The Griffons also converted on 13-of-16 free throw attempts.

The Griffons led by 10, 41-31, at halftime and the lead only steadily ballooned from there down the stretch. Western held Newman (7-19, 4-17 MIAA) to just 3-of-17 shooting from long range.

The Griffons outrebounded the Jets 36-27 as well.

Both Missouri Western teams end the regular season at Pittsburg State on Saturday. The women tip at 1:30, the men at 3:30. Both games are on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3,, KFEQ app).

Josh Book. Photo by A.J. Robbins.
Josh Book. Photo by A.J. Robbins.
JaRon Thames (24).
JaRon Thames (24).

Will Martin, Josh Book interview

Full audio broadcast

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