Megan Brownell photojournalist
This past week, the men’s basketball team hosted both the Missouri Western State University Griffons and the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats. They lost to both teams, 66-65 against the Griffons and 73-62 against the Bearcats.
The Gorillas started strong at the first half of the game against the Griffons, being up 31-26 at halftime. The game had a total of seven lead changes and six ties, with two coming in the final 10 seconds. Senior guard Quentin Hardrict Jr. put up a two point basket to take the lead 65-64 with seven seconds remaining. The Griffons took a timeout and ran it down the court for a dunk to take the lead back with two seconds remaining. PSU tried to take the win with an R.J. Forney’s three point attempt right before time expired but the shot was offline, giving the Griffons the win.
Hardict looked back at the game as a whole, and the outcome of the Griffons winning shot in the final seconds of the game.
“I feel like it was a good game overall, like we played good as a team on both sides of the ball but late in the game we just struggled keeping the lead and let it come down to the last play and we lost on that,” Hardrict said.
This close game was in thanks to leading scorers Hardrict with 12 points, junior guard Deshaun English with 10 points, and redshirt sophomore guard R.J. Forney had 17 points. Top rebounders were English with 17 rebounds, and freshman center Tane Prictor with four.
Hardrict also talked about how he feels he played during the game after finishing with 12 points and two rebounds.
Looking at Hardicts own performance during the game against the Griffons, he mentioned costly turnovers and missed free throws.
“I think I played well, but not good enough,” Hardrict said. “I had some costly turnovers late in the game and didn’t make free throws but overall I thought I played well.”
After the loss against the Griffons, the team moved on to play the No.1 defending national champs Northwest Missouri. They hung in well with the Bearcats for the first half of the game, having a lead of their own of 34-27 with 5 minutes in the first half before only being down by three at the half, 40-37. Northwest pulled away at the end of the second half from a scoreless four minute stretch for PSU late in the game to pull away for the win against the Gorillas.
Hardrict mentioned about the Gorillas being outscored 23-7 on free throws in the game leading to the loss as well.
“I feel like we played well, it just came down to us not being able to make free throws which separated us at the end,” Hardrict said.
Top scorers against Northwest were English with 19 points, Hardrict with 17 points, Forney with 11 points, and senior forward Calvin Poulina with five points. Top rebounders for the Gorillas were English and Prictor with four rebounds each.
The Gorillas will continue conference play with their first away MIAA games against the Newman University Jets on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos on Dec. 11 at 3:30 p.m. They will also continue play over winter break with six conference games, three home and three away as well as a non-conference matchup against Avila University at home.