Northwest Missouri State methodically worked its way to a double-digit halftime that never was threatened, and the No. 1 Bearcats left John Lance Arena with an 84-69 win against Pittsburg State on Saturday.
Ryan Hawkins scored 18 of his team-high 24 points in the first 16 minutes of action, adding eight rebounds on the day to lead Northwest.
The Bearcats (5-0) used a 15-4 run midway through the first half to push the lead to nine, but the Bearcats didn’t push the lead to double digits consistently until back-to-back 3-pointers by Wes Dreamer late in the opening half.
Trevor Hudgins finished with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting with six assists. He combined with Hawkins to make 18 of 30 shots.
Diego Bernard added 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Dreamer (11) and Waters (9) added other 20 points.
Western shot 52% from 3 and 57% from the field. Pitt State (4-4) shot 51% but made just 5 of 17 3-pointers, marking a 21-point difference from behind the arc.
Northwest hosts No. 5 Washburn in a matchup of the two unbeatens in the MIAA at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Pitt State women 80,
The Bearcats managed just 16 points in the second half after trailing by 14 at halftime, falling to the Gorillas 80-50.
Northwest fell behind 19-15 in the opening quarter, responding with 19 points of their own in the second stanza. However, Pitt State (5-3) made 11 of 16 shots in the frame and scoring 28 points, pushing the lead to 47-34 at halftime.
The Bearcats (3-3) got 12 points each from Kylie Coleman and Mallory McConkey. Jaelyn Haggard and Molly Hartnett added eight points. Northwest was outrebounded 34-22, and the Bearcats allowed Pitt State to shoot 56% from the field.
The Gorillas were led by 15 points and six assists from Tristan Gegg. Julia Johnson added 13. Kaylee Damitz’s 12 points and seven asissts paced the offenses, and Maya Williams chipped in 11 points.