CALEB RIORDAN | Reporter
Seniors Brad Newman and Chandler Diekvoss led the Lions past Missouri Western for their first MIAA win of the season.
After a slow start to the first five minutes of the game, the Lions were off and running. Newman handled the scoring load, shooting 6-11 from the field and registering a game high 17 points in the first half to go with four rebounds. Despite only shooting 38.2 percent from the floor and hitting only one shot from beyond the arc, the Lions went into the half with a 33-23 lead.
The Griffons did not have much success in the first half. They shot 32.1 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three-point range. Junior Jalen Gant led the Griffons with seven points and four rebounds off the bench.
The Lions were able to find their footing and shot 58.3 percent from the floor in the second half. Newman was able to score 13 more points to bump him up to an even 30, one point shy of a career high. Diekvoss shifted into high gear in the second half, registering 15 points, two blocks, and six rebounds. Sophomore Diego Womack shot 3-3 and added six points to help carry the load.
The Griffons had better luck scoring in the half, but ultimately came up short. Senior Bryan Hudson led their team in the half with nine points. He was followed closely by Gant, junior Beau Baker, and senior Lavon Hightower, all adding seven points. They were held to just a 34.9 field goal percentage and 23.5 percent from three.
Newman’s 30, Diekvoss’ 18 and Womack’s 10 eventually led the Lions to a 75-58 win over the Griffons.
“Newman was dynamite and Womack is a bear of a matchup,” Head Coach Lance Randall said. “Diekvoss really set the tone in the second half for us[…] He absolutely dominated the second half offensively.”
The Lions won the battle in points off turnovers, outscoring the Griffons 17-9. The Griffons had the advantage in bench points 23-10. The Lions were able to control the paint, scoring 44 points to the Griffons’ 28.
The win brings the Lions’ record to 7-4. Next, they travel to Maryville, Missouri and run up against the No. 2 team in the country. They will take on Northwest Missouri State Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3:30 p.m.