Griffons win Smith’s home finale against Southwest Baptist

MWSUThe coaching career of Tom Smith has not quite ended just yet.

The veteran who owns more than 600 wins in his career coached his final game at MWSU Fieldhouse, claiming a victory against Southwest Baptist 72-58. The win puts the Griffons at 15-11 and 8-10 in the MIAA, good enough to send Missouri Western to the first round of the MIAA Tournament.

The Missouri Western men’s basketball team closed the first half on a 9-0 run claiming a 33-19 halftime lead. The Griffons held the Bearcats to just eight field goals and forced 11 turnovers.

The Griffons trailed only three times in the first half which was in the first four minutes of the game. The Griffons took control midway through the first frame going on a 8-0 run claiming a 22-11 lead with 5:29 to play after a dunk by Kalvin Balque.

The Bearcats cut the Griffon lead to five after two Preston Guiot three’s but the Griffons dominated the final three minutes claiming the 14 point lead going to the locker room.

Cedric Clinkscales led the charge making 7-of-8 field goals for 14 poitns. MWSU made 14-of-33 field goals with nine assists. Dzenan Mrkaljevic had four assists for MWSU. The Bearcats were led by Jaywuan Hill with 11 points and seven rebounds in the frame.

In the second half, the Bearcats clawed their way back into the game. After the Griffons took a 36-19 lead, their biggest of the night, Baptist closed the gap. Baptist was solid from the field throughout the course of the next 10 minutes, and cut the lead down to 47-42 with 8:05 to go.

Dylan Frantz knocked down a 3-pointer to up the Griffons lead back to eight on the next possession. Highlighted by another alley-oop to Balque, the Griffons stitched their lead to double-digits yet again, eventually winning 72-58.

Clinkscales finished the night with his fifth double-double, scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds. Balque finished with 17. Seniors Alex Tuluka-Mfumupembe, Perry Jackson and Frantz also wrapped up their careers at the Fieldhouse.

— MWSU Sports Information —