(West Plains) – An abundance of errors and miscues cost the 2013-14 Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team its first loss of the season Friday night, Nov. 8, in Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.
The Grizzlies (2-1) fell to Trinity Valley Community Community College (4-0) of Athens, Texas, 72-64.
“We couldn’t help ourselves,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said of the loss. “We were on the wrong side of so many pivotal plays. We had a chance to build the lead and put them away, but we didn’t. We took some silly shots and didn’t cover our assignments correctly on defense. Somewhere in our 21 turnovers and 60 percent free throw percentage there are the points we needed to win the game.”
The Grizzlies had an early lead, but a series of turnovers allowed Trinity Valley to take a 21-14 advantage midway through the first half. The Grizzlies regained a brief lead on a layup by freshman guard Craig Eubanks with 3:49 remaining, but Trinity Valley quickly took it back and went into halftime with a 40-34 advantage.
The Grizzlies regained the lead at the 9:18 mark in the second half on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Jameel Moore, but Trinity Valley battled back, aided by more Grizzly miscues, and finally took the lead for good with 1:30 left in the game.
“Our offensive execution was either feast or famine,” Walker said. “We got too comfortable when things went well, and we did a poor job getting the ball inside in the second half. Our big guys shot 50 percent for the game, but we didn’t get them the ball enough.”
Statistical leaders for the Grizzlies were freshman guard Jeremiah Jackson, who had 20 points, nine rebounds and two assists; Moore with 10 points, three rebounds and four assists; and sophomore guard Jonathan Tshibuy, 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Freshman forward Justin Jamison had eight rebounds.
Overall, the Grizzlies shot 40 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 60 percent from the free throw line. They also committed 21 turnovers.
Trinity Valley shot 39.1 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point range and 58.3 percent from the free throw line. They only committed 12 turnovers. Leading scorers were Josh Robinson with 24 points, Dedrick Basile 16, Octavius Ellis 14 and Malcolm Riley 11.
“We again want to thank our sponsor for the game, The Shoe Factory Lofts,” Walker said. “We are very appreciative of all the help they give us.”
The Grizzlies hope to right their ship Tuesday night, Nov. 12, at home in the civic center against John Wood Community College, Quincy, Ill. The contest will end a four-game home stand that opened the season for the Grizzlies.
“There is no time to hang our heads. We have a big week next week, and we’d like to have another great crowd for the John Wood game,” Walker said.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball team, including complete statistics from the games, visit wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb/.