PARSONS, Kan. – A tip-in bucket by redshirt freshman forward Ed Seay, Jr., at the buzzer gave the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team the points they needed to beat a tough Labette Community College team 80-78 Tuesday evening, Jan. 14, in Parsons, Kan.
The victory lifts the Grizzlies overall season record to 14-7 and gives them some additional positive energy going into Saturday’s annual homecoming game against Region 16 arch rival Three Rivers College from Poplar Bluff, Mo. Tip off will be 7 p.m. in the Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.
Harlin Hutchison has the report:
“We were able to go on the road and escape against a very hot team,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said of Tuesday night’s win. “Labette was on a seven game winning streak, but we got stops when we needed them, and Ed, who was high percentage the entire game, came through with a huge tip-in at the buzzer to finish off the game.”
Labette started off the game hot, building a 14-point lead over the Grizzlies in the first half. The Grizzlies battled back, though, and narrowed the lead to 43-37 before the halftime break.
“Labette came out on fire in the first half,” Walker said. “When we got down 14, our focus was to get the game to 4 or 5 points before halftime. We didn’t get it quite that low, but we got it down to 6.
“At halftime, we talked about moving the ball side to side on offense, attacking inside, and not allowing easy looks at the basket on defense,” he continued. “We did well on all three in the second half. Our big guys were six of eight from the field in the second half and we shot eight of 15 from the three. They shot 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from the three in the second half.”
Overall, the Grizzlies connected on 28 of 62 shots from the field for 45.2 percent, 13 of 30 shots from 3-point range for 43.3 percent and 11 of 13 from the free throw line for 84.6 percent. Leading scorers were sophomore guard Devaugntah Williams with 21 points, Seay 15, freshman guard Jeremiah Jackson 14, and freshman guard Jameel Moore 12.
Freshman forward Justin Jamison led the team in rebounds with nine, and Williams led in assists with 7. “As a team, we finished with 23 assists on 28 baskets,” the coach pointed out. He also noted the play of sophomore forward Malik London, who grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots.
Labette connected on 24 of 56 shots from the field for 42.9 percent, eight of 19 shots from 3-point range for 42.1 percent and 22 of 29 attempts from the charity stripe for 75.9 percent. Leading scorers were Keith Charleston and Stedmon Allen, each with 20 points, Jowell Daniels with 12, and Demone Harrison with 11.
“We had different people step up at different times in the game,” Walker said. “In the first half, Jameel, AJ Green, and Craig Eubanks came in and gave us a nice lift defensively on top of going six of eight on the offensive end. Without that lift, we wouldn’t have gotten the lead back to a manageable number.
“It was a great out-of-state, non-region win for our team,” the coach added. “Now, our focus is on Three Rivers and staying in first place in the region.”
In addition to the game, which is being sponsored by Ozark Horse Trader, the 2013-14 Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at halftime of Saturday’s contest.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball team, including complete statistics from the games, visit wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb/.