Final Miner tune-up before GLVC play begins.
Missouri S&T's men's basketball team will spend its Thanksgiving weekend doing its final tune-ups for the beginning of conference play, as it will head to Owensboro, Ky., to take part in the Kentucky Wesleyan Holiday Tournament.
The Miners, 2-2 on the season, will face undefeated Young Harris (Ga.) in an opening round game today at 5 p.m. at the Owensboro Sportscenter. They will play again Saturday - either in the consolation game at 5 p.m. or the championship contest at 7:30 p.m. - against host Kentucky Wesleyan or Wilberforce (Ohio).
The two games for the Miners this weekend will be their last ones prior to the start of Great Lakes Valley Conference play Dec. 5 against defending NCAA Division II champion Drury in Springfield, Mo.
S&T trailed by just seven with 10:43 to play Thursday in its exhibition game at Southern Illinois, but foul issues caught up with the Miners shortly thereafter to allow the Salukis to pull away for a 96-74 win. The Miners' previous game ended up being the highest scoring game involving two teams in school history when they dropped a 123-117 decision at Southwest Baptist on Nov. 19.
At SIU, Mudiaga Eruteya scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Miners and he is one of five double figure scorers for S&T heading into the weekend with an average of 14.8 points per game. Bryce Foster leads the way with a GLVC-best 26 points per game, while Nusrath Khan is averaging 16 points a contest.
Curtis Okafor and Danylo Zuikov are also in double figures in the scoring column with averages of 12.5 and 10.3 points a game, respectively. Foster, whose scoring average ranks in a tie for tenth nationally, is also the Miners' top rebounder with 9.5 per game, while Eruteya has a team-high 17 assists.
Heading into play around the GLVC on Tuesday, the Miners are second in the league in scoring with an average of 100.2 points per game - Saint Joseph's is averaging 103.8 points per game - and own the second- and third-highest scoring games in the conference this season.
Young Harris, a Georgia-based member of the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Athletic Conference, has won its first four games of the season and has six players averaging in double figures, all between 11 and 15.5 points per game. Herdie Lawrence, a transfer from Austin Peay, leads that group with the 15.5 points per game average, including a 26-point outburst in the Mountain Lions' 78-71 win over Kentucky Wesleyan on Nov. 16. Guards Isaiah Johnson and C.J. Wilson are both over 14 per game and all three of the aforementioned players have had at least one 20-point scoring effort thus far.
Kentucky Wesleyan comes into the weekend at 1-4, but has the nation's fifth-leading scorer in Lonnie Hayes with an average of 26.8 points per game. The Panthers will face an 0-10 Wilberforce squad today that has been led by Cameron Luckett's 18.1 points per game, but one that has been outscored by an average of over 17 points in its first 10 contests.