83 second-half points not enough for Miners.
If one thing was proven in the Missouri S&T men's basketball team's 123-117 loss Tuesday at Southwest Baptist, it is that you can't count the Miners out of any game.
Trailing by as many as 28 points 90 seconds into the second half, the Miners used a furious comeback - one that led to a school record for points in a half with 83 -- that cut that lead down to three.
However, that ended up being as close as S&T could get down the stretch despite shooting 64 percent from the field in the second half.
A huge finish to the first half by SBU broke open a close contest and sent the Bearcats on their way to a big halftime lead.
The Miners held an early lead of as many as seven points in the opening half, but the Bearcats used a 18-5 burst to take control of the game, then busted it wide open by outscoring S&T 30-10 over the final 7:30 of the period.
With the score tied at 20 with 9:33 to go in the half, the Miners appeared to be getting the ball after a foul was initially called on the Bearcats. However, the call was reversed and S&T was also assessed a technical foul, after which SBU made all four free throws to take the lead.
The Bearcats, who entered the game averaging more than 12 three-pointers per game, began warming up from long range as they hit seven over a six-minute span to extend their lead to more than 20 points with just over two minutes to play in the half.
Much of the first half damage was done by Rashaad Brown-Peterson, who scored 24 points in the first 20 minutes - including five three-point baskets. Brown-Peterson would end up leading all scorers with 40 points.
Meanwhile, S&T struggled to score in all aspects, going just eight-of-32 from the floor, two-of-16 from three-point range and missing 10 of its 26 free throw attempts in the opening half.
The Miners held a 17-10 lead after Nusrath Khan drained a three-pointer out of the corner with 13:10 to go in the half, but S&T made only two field goals over the next seven minutes just as the Bearcats were going on their run to give them a 24-point halftime lead.
Down by 28 at 67-39, the Miners started whittling away at the lead down to 13 with 11:39 to go on a three-pointer by Mudiaga Eruteya.
After SBU pushed it back to 19, the Miners began to furiously cut into the SBU lead, drawing to within 11 on back-to-back three-pointers by Eruteya and Khan, then Bryce Foster blocked a Menas Stephens shot and hit a layup at the other end to make it 85-74 with just under 10 minutes to go.
Moments later, a put-back and then a lay-in by Aaron Emmanuel made it an eight-point margin, then a technical foul on the Bearcats led to Foster making three-of-four at the line to trim the lead to five with 8:30 left.
With 7:33 to go, Eruteya drove the baseline for a dunk to make it an 88-85 game, then a driving lay-in by Emmanuel with 5:08 left cut the SBU advantage again to three at 96-93. However, Desi Barmore's putback on the Bearcats' next trip down the floor put lead back at five.
The Bearcats got their lead back to double figures with 3:18 to go when Barmore put down an alley-oop dunk and would lead by at least six for the rest of the contest.
Foster led the Miners with a career-high 32 points and Eruteya also reached a career best with 26. The Miners, who shot 48.1 percent for the night, also got 18 from Khan and 13 from Emmanuel as they fell to 2-2 on the year.
SBU shot 56.9 percent in the game and hit 10 three-pointers - all in the first half - and got 23 from Preston Guiot to go along with the 40 scored by Brown-Peterson.
Missouri S&T will return to action tonight when it travels to Carbondale, Ill. to play an exhibition contest against NCAA Division I Southern Illinois University; game time is at 7:05 p.m.