Missouri S&T's men's basketball team broke into the win column for the first time in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday night, using a strong second half performance and strong bench play to knock off William Jewell 96-82 at Billy Key Court.
ROLLA, Mo. - Missouri S&T's men's basketball team broke into the win column for the first time in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday night, using a strong second half performance and strong bench play to knock off William Jewell 96-82 at Billy Key Court.
After leading by nine at halftime, the Miners used a 14-3 burst midway through the second half to build a double-figure lead that they would hold for the rest of the contest. This came during a half in which S&T shot 58.1 percent from the field and put 55 points on the scoreboard while holding the Cardinals to 35.7 percent shooting from the floor.
The bulk of the first half was a back-and-forth affair that included eight lead changes. S&T jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, but the Cardinals overcame that early deficit and took a 17-14 lead on Jordan Lewis' three-pointer at the 14:20 mark.
The Miners scored six of the next eight points to take the lead on an Aaron Emmanuel basket with 10:26 to play, then the teams traded baskets and the lead over the next four minutes. William Jewell would take a 30-29 lead with 6:07 to go in the half on a short jumper by Clint McCullough, but two free throws by Zachary Ellis 15 seconds later would give the Miners a lead they would not relinquish.
Ellis' basket sparked an 8-0 run by the Miners that gave S&T its biggest lead since the early outburst at 37-30, then Bryce Foster's jumper with 33 seconds to go gave them a 41-36 lead at the half.
S&T's lead stayed in the neighborhood of six to eight points during the early minutes of the second half and grew to nine on Foster's tip-in with six minutes gone in the period. The Cardinals cut the lead down to four at 59-55 nearly three minutes later when Kyle Smith drained a three-pointer, but Foster answered with a trey that started the Miners' 14-3 burst - which covered just two and one-half minutes - and ended with a jumper by Nusrath Khan that gave S&T a 73-58 lead.
Foster led S&T (6-8, 1-5 GLVC) with 24 points, while Ellis matched his career high with 20. The Miners also got 15 points apiece from Khan and Emmanuel - a career-best for him - while Mudiaga Eruteya had nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds as S&T won the battle on the boards by a 44-40 margin.
The Miners shot 50.7 percent from the floor, the fifth straight home game in which the Miners have cleared the 50 percent mark from the field, while holding the Cardinals to just 38.2 percent. Missouri S&T's bench, thanks in large part to Ellis' performance, outscored William Jewell's reserves 25-13.
William Jewell got a game-high 25 pints from McCullough and 16 from Dwight Sistrunk, who came into the contest ranked sixth nationally in assists and finished the contest with eight. The Cardinals shot 32 free throws in the second half - making 23 - after not getting a single attempt in the first 20 minutes.
The Miners will host Rockhurst Saturday at 3 p.m. The Hawks lost 104-69 Thursday at No. 7-ranked Drury.