The Missouri S&T men's basketball team's attempt to knock off the 16th-ranked team in NCAA Division II fell short Friday night, as Indianapolis held off the Miners 86-82 in Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) play at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
S&T fell to 5-5 overall and 0-2 in the GLVC. The UIndy Greyhounds improved to 9-0 and 1-0.
S&T was also scheduled to play a GLVC game at home Sunday afternoon against Saint Joseph's. Due to the weather, results from that game will be in Tuesday's edition of the Daily News.
On Friday the Miners held a 61-55 lead midway through the second half, but were outscored 17-5 over the next seven minutes and were unable to make up the deficit down the stretch. S&T got the Greyhound lead down to three on three occasions in the final 2:26, but UIndy, who was 19-of-21 at the free throw line in the second half, made its final 11 free throws after taking the six-point lead with 3:38 remaining.
The first half was a tough battle, particularly in the paint where the teams scored 55 of the 81 points put on the scoreboard in a period in which there were six ties and six lead changes. Missouri S&T took an early five-point lead on a three-point play by 6-5 junior forward Curtis Okafor and was up by seven after a basket by 6-4 senior guard Bryce Foster just over six minutes into play.
S&T held another seven-point lead of 24-17 after a three-pointer by 6-1 freshman guard Danylo Zuikov at the 8:07 mark, but the Greyhounds closed that gap and eventually took their first lead since the opening basket of the contest when Reece Cheatham made a pair of free throws at the 4:56 mark.
UIndy would take the lead for good in the first half on a fast break layup by Cheatham just over two minutes later and would take a 41-40 lead to the locker room.
But as the second half began, the Miners ran off eight of the first nine points to build its lead back to six, going up 48-42 on 6-1 senior guard Mudiaga Eruteya's three-point play. S&T maintained the advantage, even after the Greyhounds had cut the lead to one on Leland Brown's put-back with 13:39 to play, and went back up by six on a three-pointer by Foster at the 10:24 mark.
Trailing 62-58, the Greyhounds went on an 8-0 run and moved in front in the process when Cheatham hit a pair of free throws with 7:35 to go. After Brennan McElroy made two more at the line on UIndy's next trip down the floor to extend the lead to four, S&T got a pair of baskets from Foster, the latter after a steal by 5-10 senior guard Nusrath Khan, to tie the score at 66 with 6:35 remaining.
Page 2 of 2 - After each team had a scoreless possession, Cheatham drained a long three-pointer to put the Greyhounds back in front, which was then followed by a three-point play by Tyrae Robinson that gave UIndy a six-point lead at the 3:38 mark.
Three times, the Miners got the lead down to three - the last on a Zuikov three-pointer with 23 seconds to play, but the Greyhounds were able to ice the game at the foul line by making six straight in the final 17 seconds as part of the 11 they made down the stretch.
The Miners finished the night shooting 51.7 percent from the field and had four players in double figures, led by Foster with 22 points. Eruteya ended up with 16 - but didn't score over the final 17 minutes - while Okafor finished with 15 and Khan with 10.
Cheatham had 23 points to lead all scorers and Robinson added 21 for the Greyhounds, who shot 45.9 percent after coming into the contest ranked third nationally in field goal percentage. UIndy did, however, have a 10-rebound advantage in the game.