Reese Glover sank a 3-pointer to put Missouri Western into a 44-44 tie with Missouri-St. Louis with 10 minutes left, but the Tritons responded with a 15-5 run on their way to a 72-67 victory Saturday at the MWSU Fieldhouse in the Hillyard Tip-Off Classic.
Western (2-4) suffered 19 turnovers and assisted on just 7 of 24 made field goals. UMSL (3-1) allowed just eight points off 11 turnovers.
The Griffons held the Tritons to 38.5% from the field and 3 of 19 (15.8%) from 3-point range, but UMSL went 19-for-25 from the foul line. UMSL also turned 14 offensive rebounds in 15 second-chance points.
“You’ve gotta share the basketball and share in intentionally. We have a lot of talents, a lot of threats on the court. Those assist numbers have to go up,” Western coach Will Martin said. “What’s more alarming for me is the turnovers. You take care of the basketball, you can win a lot of games.”
Western senior Q Mays, who moved off the ball as the primary point guard this weekend for JaRon Thames, scored a game-high 27 points to go with 10 rebounds. Caleb Bennett added 13 points while Glover added 11 on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, as he came off the bench.
“We have the little rotation that we did this weekend, but I’ve still gotta be a great leader and make sure everybody’s on the same page,” Mays said.
Eames added eight points and 12 rebounds.
Marty Jackson helped UMSL outscore Western 36-26 in the paint, pacing his team with 16 points. Atavian Butler added 14 while Yaakema Rose chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds.
Western returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rockhurt in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Griffon women (3-0) host Illinois Springfield at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the MWSU Fieldhouse.