Saturday, December 11, 2010

Griffons Hang On To Upset 6th Ranked Tigers

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – James Harvey scored one point in the contest but it was the biggest, as his free throw with under a second to play sealed the upset against 6th ranked Fort Hays State 78-77 on Saturday afternoon in the fieldhouse. P’Allen Stinnett led the Griffons with 26 points as Western improves to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in MIAA action. Western improves to 2-0 at home in MIAA play and to 4-2 when leading at halftime.

The first half was a back and forth battle with 13 lead changes and six ties. The two teams played the first 5:37 of the first half to a 12 all tie. P’Allen Stinnett scored the Griffons first seven points of the contest. The Tigers built its biggest lead of the game at 21-16 after a Moses Dayee long range shot with 11:27 to play in the frame.

Western battled back to tie the score at 25 after a three point shot from Deionta Mitchell long range bucket with 7:09 to play in the frame. Mitchell gave the Griffons a 30-28 leads with another three with 6:17 to play. Western outscored the Tigers 14-13 claiming a three point lead at 44-41 at the half.

Western forced nine Fort Hays State turnovers and collected 12 points off those turnovers. Western had 18 bench points and 12 points in the paint. The Griffons shot 46.7-percent (14-30) in the half and connected on all 11 of its free throw attempts. Stinnett led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

The Tigers had 12 assists on its 15 field goals as they shot 51.7-percent in the half making 15-of-29 shots. The Tigers made 6-of-12 long range shots and went 5-of-7 from the line. Dijon Smith had 12 points connecting on all six of his field goal attempts. Smith also had six rebounds in the frame.

Western opened the second half on fire opening a 19 point advantage after a Jonathan Phelps three pointer with 8:01 to play in the game. From there the Tigers began to chip away hitting jumpers from short and deep. The Tigers tied the score at 77 with 21 seconds remaining after a Matt Simmons layup. Harvey would get fouled and hit the first free throw to seal the victory.

The Griffons shot 45.8-percent (27-59) from the field and made 11-of-30 long range shots. Jeffery West hit two big three’s to open up the second half finishing with 13 points for the Griffons. Phelps and Mitchell finished the game with 11 points respectively. The Griffons got outrebounded 33 to 40 but had 18 assists on 27 field goals. Western had 10 steals forcing 15 Hays turnovers.

The Tigers lost its first game of the season as they fall to 9-1 overall and 3-1 in MIAA play. Fort Hays State shot a season low 43.5-percent (27-62) from the field as Smith led the way with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting. FHSU had four other players in double figures with Ken Bowman scoring 14 points while Dominique Jones and Corbin Kuntzsch dumped in 13 and Dayee chipped in 12. The Tigers finished with 19 assists in the contest.

The Griffons will return home on Sunday, December 19 hosting the Washburn Ichabods. Game time is set for 3:30 pm from the MWSU Fieldhouse.

Missouri Western State University (located in St. Joseph, Mo.) is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

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