EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Emporia State men’s basketball team was unable to pull off the upset on Thursday, as they fell 69-62 to third-ranked Northwest Missouri State.
After the Bearcats started off the game up 11-4, Emporia State battled to get back into the game. In fact, they even took the lead 15-13 with 10:11 remaining in the first half.
Northwest then threatened to open the game back up, regaining the lead and extending it all the way to 11 points. Craig Doty’s team had a response once again though. ESU ended the first half on an 11-2 run to make it a two-point game at halftime.
The first half was headlined by Austin Downing and Ryan Hawkins. Downing had 15 for the Hornets while Hawkins scored 18 for Northwest in the first 20 minutes of play.
Emporia State did not lead in the second half, but they kept within striking distance the entire time, as Northwest’s lead was never more than nine in the second half.
ESU even tied the game with 5:18 to play and trailed by only one with 2:46 left in the game, but never could grab the lead.
Hawkins practically matched his 18 points in the first half, as he scored 16 more in the second half for Northwest, finishing with 34. A three-pointer from Hawkins put the Bearcats up by six points with 1:52 to go, which proved to be the dagger in this one.
Downing posted his highest point total since coming to ESU with 23 points. Jumah’ri Turner contributed 14 points while Mayuom Buom had 12.
Emporia State falls to 8-10 on the season. Northwest moves to 18-1 and clinched at least a share of the MIAA title with the win.
Emporia State will take the court again on Saturday when they host Missouri Western.