No. 1 Cougars Run Away with Victory Over Eagles
COLUMBIA -- The No. 1 ranked Columbia Cougar men's basketball team defeated American Midwest Conference (AMC) opponent Williams Baptist (Ark.) College 89-53 on Thursday night to remain as the NAIA's last remaining unbeaten team of the 2012-13 season. Columbia improves to 23-0 overall and 9-0 in AMC play with the victory. The Eagles fall to 14-8 on the season and 5-4 versus league foes.
The Cougars wasted no time jumping out to 15-2 lead five minutes into the contest, but that was nothing compared to the 39 point lead they would take with just two and a half minutes to go in the period. After shooting almost 55 percent from the field and 57 percent from beyond the arc in the half, nine different Cougars had contributed to a 46-17 lead at the break. Jordan Dressler drained all four of his three-point attempts to lead Columbia with 13 points in the first 20 minutes. The Eagles shot a cold 18 percent, connecting on just six baskets.
Columbia was on cruise control the second half, maintaining a thirty-plus lead during the half, shooting 44 percent and holding their opponents to just 11 field goals to claim the 36-point win.
The difference maker proved to be passing as the Cougars logged 24 assists in the contest, including 14 in the first half, compared to just six by the Eagles. Columbia also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the visiting squad 51-39.
Dressler finished with a game-high 15 points and Derrick Dilworth chipped in 14. 12 Cougars finished with two or more points in the scoring column. Devin Griffin and Marquette Murrell dished out six assists apiece.
Kyle Harvey, the AMC's leading scorer and rebounder, was held to just nine points and three rebounds in the ballgame.
Columbia is off Friday before traveling to AMC foe Park (Mo.) University to take on the second place Pirates on Saturday, February 2nd. Game time is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. in Parkville, Mo. The Cougars defeated the Pirates 73-59 in the two teams' first meeting of the season on January 5th.