No. 1 Cougars Secure Close Victory Over Pirates
PARKVILLE, MO --The No. 1 ranked Cougar men's basketball squad earned a 68-54 road victory over American Midwest Conference opponent Park University on Saturday afternoon. Columbia improves to 24-0 overall and 10-0 in conference play with the win and also remains the NAIA's last remaining unbeaten team of the 2012-13 season. The Pirates, who entered play second in the AMC standings, fall to 13-8 overall and 7-3 in the league.
The Cougars shot just over 40 percent from the field in the first period, but knocked down seven of 15 shots from three-point range to grab a 35-29 lead at the halftime break. Sophomore Tanner Sutton hit three of five attempts from behind the arc on his way to nine points in the opening frame.
After allowing Park to hang around for much of the second half, Columbia would take their largest lead at 60-47 of the contest on a Zach Rockers three-pointer at the 8:02 mark. With a ten point lead and just under two remaining, Derrick Dilworth notched a key steal that lead to a quick basket by Devin Griffin. Griffin turned around and stole the inbound and was able to take more time off the clock and secure the victory for the Cougars.
Columbia had a tough night from the charity stripe, shooting just 55 percent. However they made up for it beyond the arc, draining ten of their 21 attempts for 48 percent.
Senior Jordan Dressler posted a double-double to lead the Cougars with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Sutton finished with 11 points and Dilworth and Griffin each had ten.
The Cougars will resume AMC action when they travel to league newcomer Benedictine University of Springfield on Thursday, February 7th. Columbia defeated the Bulldogs 73-40 in the teams' first meeting of the season on January 10th. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Springfield, Ill.