January 7, 2021-Emporia State outshot #22 Missouri Western from the field, had twice as many three-pointers and outrebounded them but 26 points off 28 Hornet turnovers gave the Griffons a 70-61 victory on Thursday night in St. Joseph, Mo.
Emporia State turned the ball over three times in the first 54 seconds but were only down 4-0 before Jumah’Ri Turner got the Hornets on the board with a three pointer at the 18:34 mark. Mason Thiessen, Duncan Fort and Austin Downing combined for a 6-0 run to give Emporia State their biggest lead of the night at 21-14 with 10:31 left in the half. Missouri Western answered with a 9-0 run of their own, with the last four points coming in less than 30 seconds following two more ESU turnovers. Turner hit a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds left to make it 34-31 at the break.
The Hornets trailed by just three points despite giving up 26 points off 20 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Emporia State trailed 40-38 with 16:55 remaining in the game when Missouri Western went on a 9-0 run to take an 11 point lead with 14:01 left. The Griffons took their biggest lead of the night at 53-41 with 10:54 remaining when Turner and Ben Smith hit back to back three-pointers to get the Hornets with six with 9:29 left. Neither team could make much of a run over the next five minutes and a Gage McGuire put back with 4:26 left pulled the Hornets within 59-54. The Griffons scored the next four points to get some separation and the Hornets could not get back within seven the rest of the game.
For the game Emporia State outshot Missouri Western 44.9% to 42% from the field, hit eight three pointers to the Griffons four and outrebounded MWSU 40-29, but Western had a 26-5 advantage in points off turnovers. Jumah’Ri Turner led all scorers with 26 points and was joined in double figures by Austin Downing with 11 points. Dallas Bailey had a career high 13 rebounds for the Hornets.
Emporia State is back in action on Saturday, January 9 when they travel to #1 Northwest Missouri. Tip-off from Bearcat Arena is set for 2:00 p.m.