Friday, December 31, 2010

Yellowjackets Go Cold in Second Half, Fall 70-54

BILLINGS, Mont. – Jaxon Myaer’s 17 points were overshadowed by 20 points from Jeremy Green and a double-double by Blake Poole, as Saint Martin’s University used a second half surge to defeat the Montana State Billings men’s basketball team 70-54 Thursday night at Alterowitz Gymnasium.

Poole had 11 points and 13 rebounds, going 5-of-9 from the field, while Green was 7-of-13 from the field and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe to help the Saints improve to 9-4 on the season and 2-1 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play. Galen Squiers also chipped in 17 points, while Brok Pendleton added 12 points of his own.

Myaer’s 17 points came on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from the line in the losing effort. Leon Sutton dumped in 10 points, while Robert Mayes had a team-high six boards and Tyler Barnes added eight points and four rebounds.

The Yellowjackets fall to 2-8 on the season and have started out league play 0-3. The loss was the second consecutive for the Yellowjackets and their seventh in the last eight games.

The first half went well for the Jackets, shooting 57.1 percent from the field and from beyond the arc. The Jackets also converted three of their four free throws, but the Saints converted all nine of their attempts from the line, and hit 13-of-14 for the game.

The Jackets built their largest lead of the game at four, 14-10, in the first half when Myaer hit one of his two three-pointers from the top of the arc with 15:21 to go.

The Saints continued to battle back throughout the half as Squiers knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game at 23-23 with just over seven minutes remaining in the half. The Jackets again took a three point lead (26-23) on free throws by Emery Henning and Barnes.

Pendleton knocked down a mid-range jumper with 4:19 left in the half to give the Saints the lead for the final time in the contest. Saint Martin’s closed out the half on a 13-5 run to take a five point, 36-31, lead into the half.

After coming out of the locker room, balanced scoring by the Saints helped them outscore the Yellowjackets 20-8 over the first 10 minutes of the half to build an 18 point lead, 57-39.

Another Myaer free throw at the nine minute mark brought the lead down to 15, but five straight points by Squiers gave the Saints their largest lead of the game, 20 points, with 7:30 to go in the contest.

MSUB could get no closer than 15 as the two teams traded buckets the rest of the way, and the Saints ran out the clock after the Yellowjackets committed their 21st turnover of the game.

The Yellowjackets shot 43.8 percent from the floor for the game and were just 4-of-12 from long range. The free throw line continued to be a challenge as the Jackets were just 8-of-14 from the line. The Jackets won the battle off the bench, outscoring SMU 17-14.

The Saints pounded the paint throughout the night, scoring 34 points inside and collecting 16 off of second chance opportunities. SMU also converted 23 points off of the Jackets’ 21 turnovers, committing just 12 of their own.

SMU finished the night going 27-of-60 from field, but shot 56.0 percent in the second half. The worst part of the night for the Saints was from downtown, hitting just three of their 17 attempts.

The Yellowjackets will look to turn the page on 2010 and start fresh in 2011 when they take on GNAC foe Western Oregon on New Year’s Day at 7:30 p.m. at Alterowitz Gymnasium. The game is the second of a doubleheader with the women’s team, playing Alaska Anchorage at 5:30 p.m. Both games can be seen on the web at msubsports.com. Live stats will also be available for both games.

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