ROLLA, Mo. – Missouri S&T's men's basketball team came out strong to begin the second half Thursday night, but was unable to sustain the momentum and ended up suffering a 76-63 Great Lakes Valley Conference loss to Missouri-St. Louis at Gibson Arena.
After Juwan Miller's (Kitchener, Ont./Huron Heights)basket to close the first half drew the Miners (3-17, 1-11 GLVC) even with the Tritons (18-4, 9-3 GLVC), S&T opened the second half by outscoring UMSL 11-5 in the first four minutes to take its largest lead of the game. Dulan Scott's (Chicago, IL/Farragut Academy) jumper gave the Miners a 37-31 lead with 16:03 to play.
The Miners sustained their lead for the next three-plus minutes, holding a five-point advantage with 13:57 remaining after Ervin Sarajlic (St. Louis, MO/Oakville) knocked down a three-pointer, but the Tritons ran off a 9-0 to take the lead. A Miller three-point basket halted that run, then the Miners were to tie the game again at 48 on a three-point play by Miller with 9:45 remaining.
UMSL took the lead for good 28 seconds later on a lay-in by Eric Dust and after the Miners had cut a four-point Triton lead to one on Jalen Myers' (Shorewood, IL/Minooka) trey at the eight-minute mark, UMSL went on a decisive 10-0 run with the bulk of the damage being doie by Jalen Wilkins-McCoy, who had the final six points in the run that gave his team a 62-51 lead with just over five minutes to go.
S&T made just 35.7 percent of its shots in the first half and improved that mark in the second half to finish the game at 40.7 percent, but the Tritons made 60 percent of their second half shots and ended the contest at 50 percent from the field.
Myers led four Miners in double figures with 14 points and hit four of S&T's seven three-point baskets, while CJ Hedgepeth (Evansville, IN/Harrison) finished with 12 points and Miller and Romain Louiserre(La Ferte Alais, France/Fredrick Fays) had 10 points apiece.
Wilkins-McCoy led all scorers with 21 points and recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds to pace the Tritons.
The Miners continue their homestand Saturday when they host Maryville in a 3 p.m. contest at Gibson Arena. The Saints (8-13, 3-9 GLVC) lost 80-52 Thursday at Drury.