Cougars Come Back From 15-Point Deficit To Win
COLUMBIA -- The Columbia Cougar men's basketball squad earned a huge victory Thursday in American Midwest Conference (AMC) action, defeating Missouri Baptist University 58-54. Columbia, ranked No. 20 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, improves to 21-6 on the season and 8-1 versus conference foes. The Spartans drop to 15-11 overall and 6-3 in league play.
The Cougars struggled out of the gate, shooting just 27 percent from the field in the first frame and going 0-for-14 from beyond the arc. The Spartans 43 percent shooting in the first half led to a 37-22 lead for Missouri Baptist at the break.
Columbia's shooting turned around in the second frame. After falling behind by 15 early in the half, the Cougars pulled the momentum in their favor. Down 10 with 15 minutes left, the Cougars went on a 11-1 run to take a one-point lead. After trading baskets, Columbia pulled ahead by four on a Wendell Crowder three from the corner. The Cougars were able to hold the lead after forcing back-to-back turnovers and walked away with the win.
Hal Payne had a career high night, dropping in 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Devin Griffin also finished in double figures with 13 points. Marquette Murrell and Taylor Evans led the Cougars on the boards with 11 and 10, respectively.
The Cougars return to the hardwood on Saturday, February 18th when they host Williams Baptist College. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. in the Arena of Southwell Complex.