Cougars Open Quality Inn Thanksgiving Classic with Win
COLUMBIA -- In the first day of the Quality Inn Thanksgiving Classic in the Arena of Southwell Complex, the Columbia Cougars scored a victory, defeating Central Bible College 90-51. The win moves Columbia to 6-0 on the season.
The Cougars started slow, allowing the Spartans to trade baskets with them throughout the first 10 minutes of the half. However, it didn't take long for Columbia to hit their stride and take a 46-26 advantage at the break on 46 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Columbia ran away with the contest in the opening minutes of the second half with an 11-2 run that eventually led to a 30-point advantage midway through the half. The Cougars maintained the lead with 57 percent shooting from the field and forcing the visiting squad into 24 turnovers. Columbia converted the Spartan miscues into 28 points to walk away with the win.
Columbia outrebounded Central Bible 43-30. Devin Griffin led Columbia with 17 points and four assists. Zach Rockers and Derrick Dilworth had 14 and 12 points, respectively. Hal Payne chipped in 11 points and Jordan Dressler had 10, Marquette Murrell led the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds while Chantel Stanciel dished out seven assists.
In the first game of the evening in the Quality Inn Thanksgiving Classic, McPherson College defeated Hannibal-LaGrange University 74-56. Three players scored in double figures to pace McPherson, led by Samson Shivers with 16 points. Aril Meuel was the leading scorer for McPherson with 17 points.
Action continues on Saturday in the Quality Inn Classic in the Arena of Southwell Complex. At 1 p.m., Hannibal will face Central Bible. Columbia will square off against McPherson at 3 p.m. Following the final contest, a five-member all-classic team, as well as a most valuable player, will be announced.