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(West Plains) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team will go into the holiday break with an 11-6 record after defeating Highland (Kan.) Community College 73-70 Tuesday, Dec. 17, in the Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.

“Playing a game after finals week is tough, and the last game before Christmas break is equally as tough. We had to deal with both factors in this game,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said.

“We won this game at the free throw line and from the three,” he added, pointing out the Grizzlies hit 19 of 26 attempts from the free throw line and eight of 26 shots from 3-point range for the night. “We did a better job of attacking the basket in the second half. In the first half, we were settling for too many jumpers.

“We also have to do a better job in the second half,” Walker continued. “We are just not finishing games off the way that we should.”

Overall, the Grizzlies shot 41.1 percent from the field, hitting 23 of 56 attempts. They were 30.9 percent from 3-point range and 73.1 percent from the charity stripe.

Four Grizzlies scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Devaugntah Williams led the way with 17 points, followed by freshman forward Justin Jamison with 13 and sophomore guard Arroyo Edwards and freshman guard Jeremiah Jackson each with 12.

The Grizzlies also had 37 rebounds, 13 assists, 13 turnovers, four steals and three blocks. Freshman forward Lukasz Bonarek led the team in rebounding with 15 grabs, five of which came off the offensive glass.

Highland hit 27 of 63 shots from the field for 42.9 percent, six of 18 attempts from 3-point range for 33.3 percent and 10 of 17 shots from the free throw line for 58.8 percent. Leading scorers were Martel Collins with 22 points, Marc Ellis 12 points and Dominique Davis 11 points. Highland also recorded 36 rebounds, 19 assists, 12 turnovers and six steals.

“We want to thank our game sponsor, The Shoe Factory Lofts, for helping us out as much as they do,” Walker said.

The Grizzlies will return to the court Jan. 3 and 4, 2014, in their Grizzly New Year’s Classic. Joining them will be Columbia (Tenn.) State Community College, ranked 10th in this week’s National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) Division I men’s basketball poll; Iowa Western Community College of Council Bluffs, ranked 13th in this week’s poll; and Southeast Texas Prep of Humble.

Games are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. each day, with the Grizzlies playing in the 7 p.m. contests. They will face Columbia State Jan. 3 and Iowa Western Jan. 4.

For more information about the Grizzly Basketball team, including complete statistics from the games, visit wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb/.

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