The Missouri S&T men’s basketball team played a pair of games against Newman and Upper Iowa in the Doubletree/Houlihan's Thanksgiving Classic at Drury over the weekend. The Miners lost both games by single digits.
For the second straight game, Missouri S&T's men's basketball team was able to overcome a double-digit deficit in the first half, but after taking the lead after the intermission, could not hold off a second half surge by Newman and lost 88-81 in its first game in the Doubletree/Houlihan's Thanksgiving Classic at Drury University.
The Miners (2-3) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half as they made just four of their first 14 shots from the floor, but began warming up and used an 11-1 run to catch the Jets (4-2) at 27 following a three-point basket by Jordan Newt (San Francisco, CA/Malibu) at the 5:01 mark.
S&T could never take the lead before halftime, however, but caught the Jets six different times over the final five minutes of the opening half. The sixth occasion came right at time expired when Newt answered a three-pointer by Newman's Ben Ayre with one of his own to knot the score at 43 as the teams went to the locker room.
Newman opened the second half by outscoring the Miners 10-2 to regain an eight-point lead, but S&T went on a 10-2 run of its own to tie it again following a reverse lay-up by Nikola Andric (Uzice, Serbia/Gymnasium). Tim Troussel put the Jets back into the lead with a basket at the 15:19 mark, but the Miners gained their first lead since the game was 90 seconds old when Newt knocked down a long three-pointer 29 seconds later.
The teams would trade baskets and the lead, with S&T going back in front at 60-59 on a jumper by Juwan Miller (Kitchener, Ont./Huron Heights) and would hold onto that lead for the next eight minutes, building it to as much as seven at 70-63. However, the Jets clawed back and regained the lead for good on two free throws by Julius Sakinis with a little over six minutes to play.
S&T had two chances to get the lead back with under five minutes to play, but missed a shot on the first possession and the front end of a one-and-one on the other before Newman would push the lead out to nine late in the contest.
The Miners shot 54.7 percent from the field – hitting better than 50 percent of their shots in both halves – but the Jets did likewise as they connected on 58.5 percent of their shots.
Newt had 21 points to lead four Miners in double figures, while Miller had 14 points and CJ Hedgepeth(Evansville, IN/Harrison) finished with 13 and added seven assists. S&T's fourth double figure scorer was Romain Louiserre (La Ferte Alais, France/Fredrick Fays) with 10 points.
Newman's Marshawn Blackmon led all scorers in the game with 23 points as the Jets also had four players in double figures.
Missouri S&T's furious rally effort in the final seven minutes came up just short, as Upper Iowa held off the Miners 91-87 on the second day of the Doubletree/Houlihan's Thanksgiving Classic at Drury University.
The Miners (2-4) trailed by 16 points with 7:31 remaining, but hit six of their next 10 shots – including four three-pointers – to cut the Peacock lead to two with 2:36 remaining. Jordan Newt (San Francisco, CA/Malibu) had a big hand in the rally, scoring 12 of S&T's 21 points during that stretch, which saw S&T bring the score to 80-78 following a three-pointer by Ervin Sarajlic (St. Louis, MO/Oakville).
However, Upper Iowa's Chris Olson drained a trey on the Peacocks' next trip down the floor to extend the lead back to five, then after Sarajlic hit another three to make it a two-point game again, Jareese Williams hit Upper Iowa's 17th three-point basket of the game with 1:42 remaining to push the lead back to five again.
The Miners were able to make it a one-possession game twice in the final 40 seconds, but Quentin Blaue made three-of-four at the free throw line to hold off the Miners' final push.
Both teams got off to a slow start – going a combined two-of-16 from the field before the first media timeout at the 15:22 mark – but the Peacocks began to get rolling from long range a short time after play resumed. After S&T got tow within a point at 16-15 on a lay-in by Nikola Andric (Uzice, Serbia/Gymnasium), the Peacocks went on a 9-0 run that began with a Olson three-pointer to build a 10-point advantage midway through the half.
The Miners trimmed that lead to four, but Upper Iowa (3-2) outscored S&T 14-4 over the next 4:35, a run that included four of the Peacocks' 10 three-point baskets in the first half.
Upper Iowa went 10-of-22 in the first half from beyond the arc, a continuation from Friday's win over Drury when it made 18 three-point shots and would hold a 46-34 lead at halftime.
Newt had 20 points to lead five Miners in double figures, as Sarajlic and Romain Louiserre (La Ferte Alais, France/Fredrick Fays) had 12 apiece, CJ Hedgepeth (Evansville, IN/Harrison) ended up with 11 and Kyle Bushman (Mount Vernon, MO/Mount Vernon) finished with 10. Louiserre had his eighth career double-double and first by a Miner this season as he hauled in 12 rebounds, while Miller had a career-high 13 boards in a game where S&T outrebounded the Peacocks 53-31.
The Miners shot 45.9 percent in the second half and made seven-of-12 from three-point land in the second half to finish the game at 39.7 percent overall and at 10-of-26 from long range. Upper Iowa made 48.3 percent of its shots and was 44.7 percent of its three-point tries.
Olson led all scorers in the contest with 22 points.
Missouri S&T returns to action Tuesday when it faces Southeast Missouri State in an exhibition game at 6:30 p.m. in Cape Girardeau, Mo.