GREENVILLE, Ill. — Mississippi University for Women men’s basketball not only reached 100 points in a game for the first time in its brief history as a program, but the team downright crashed through the century mark in its 129-127 donnybrook win over Greenville University (Illinois), breaking all sorts of records along the way.
But when all was said and done versus the Panthers’ high-octane, press-and-shoot style, the Owls needed a driving layup by senior Shon Wright to provide the margin of victory as time expired.
The W’s team record book “casualties” resulting from the high-scoring affair included (with previous record in parentheses): points in a game, 129 (99); field goals made, 49 (35); field goals attempted, 92 (76); free throws made, 27 (26); free throws attempted, 40 (39); rebounds, 58 (57), and assists, 25 (20). The 127 points allowed was also the most ever permitted by an Owls’ team (topping the old mark of 109).
The Owls’ other gaudy numbers included no less than six players with double-digit point totals. MUW’s “Basketball Brothers” — even if not actually related — of Thomas Wright and Shon Wright led the way. The duo combined for a 50 percent shooting night (22 of 44), 57 points, 23 rebounds and canned 13 of 13 free throws.
Thomas Wright led all scorers with a career-high 30 points, going 12 for 24 shooting and often finding himself open upcourt to break the Panthers’ press for an easy layup. He scored the Owls’ first 12 points of the game and 16 of the team’s opening 19 points. Wright’s point total was the sixth-best in a single game at MUW, while his field goals made and attempted both rank as the second-highest total, along with the fifth-most rebounds (14).
For his part, Shon Wright was 10 for 20 from the floor on his way to his career-high of 27 points. He pulled down nine boards, gave off two assists and had one steal before his game-winning basket to cap the night.
Newcomer Tyson Smithey added 18 points, connecting on 8 of 13 tries, to go along with eight rebounds. Fellow new face Andrew Shepherd tallied 15 points and had four assists.
Brye Hopkins and Milos Zeradjanin each booked 11 points. Hopkins hit 4 of 6 shots from the floor, while Zeradjanin went 6 for 12 from the charity stripe. Hopkins also contributed five caroms, while Zeradjanin dished out a game-high five assists.
Josh Dukes’ six points, five from Charlie Werner, four from Dariun Doss and two from Chris Evans rounded out The W’s scoring.
“The gift — and curse — of basketball at times can be playing back to back,” The W head coach Dean Burrows said. “For us, tonight was an opportunity to get that sour taste out of our mouths from an ugly game last night at Principia. The entire purpose for this two game swing through Illinois was for us to get an up-close look at how Greenville plays, because nobody else plays this way anymore on the men’s side and we wanted to experience it prior to our joining the SLIAC next season.
“(It was) bad scheduling on my part for playing without any days in between, prep wise, but our guys responded time and time again. Our bench, after being called out, really did a nice job of lifting up the guys on the floor to finish things out. Dariun Doss gave us a big spark with hustle plays and a few big buckets. All three of our freshmen gave us some solid minutes and were out on the floor at times together for stretches. Shon Wright though was the glue that kept us connected all night.”
The Owls begin a five-game homestand at 5 p.m. Tuesday with a rematch against Birmingham-Southern College. The W topped the Panthers, 97-87, in the Nov. 11 season opener.
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