(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western held an eight point lead on No. 11 Central Missouri at halftime, but the Griffons weren't able to close the upset victory. The Jennies rallied to win 59-53 on senior night in St. Joseph.
The Missouri Western (10-15, 5-13 MIAA) defense held Central Missouri to a season-low in points, and forced 15 turnovers.
The Griffons shot 46-percent in the first half, and held a 12-point lead late in the first half. That hot shooting dropped off in the final 20 minutes as Western hit only 7 of 27 shots in the second half.
Sharniece Lewis led Western with 18 points on 7-17 shooting. Quenisha Lockett added eight points.
Western is now in a three-way tie with Southwest Baptist and Nebraska Kearney for the final two spots in the MIAA Tournament. The Griffons play SBU in Bolivar on Saturday.
Central Missouri men 80, Missouri Western 50
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western trailed No. 19 Central Missouri by just four points at halftime, but the Mules pulled away for a 80-57 win in the final game at the MWSU Fieldhouse of the season.
Central pulled away shooting 60-percent in the final 20 minutes to pick up its ninth consecutive win.
Senior Kalvin Balque led the Western players scoring in double figures with 15 points. Ryan Devers added 13 points and six rebounds, and Charlie Marquardt scored 12 points.
Down to the final regular season game, the Griffons (10-16, 5-13 MIAA) hold a one game lead on Pittsburg State for the 12th and final spot in the MIAA Tournament. Western plays at Southwest Baptist Saturday in the season finale.