No. 10 Northwest Missouri State's undefeated start came to an end Saturday with a 59-50 loss to St. Edward's in its opening game of the Hawaii Classic.
St. Edward's (7-6) scored the game's first eight points and led from start to finish on a Bearcat team that has played from ahead most of the season.
The Bearcats, who trailed by 12 at the half, never came closer than five in the second half.
Northwest dropped to 8-1 on the year, losing to a non-conference opponent for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.
Northwest endured a rough night offensively, shooting less than 36 percent from the field and 3-16 from three. Their 50 point total was a new season-low.
The Bearcats were also out-rebounded 40-34, a first since the opening game of the season against Graceland.
Junior center Dillon Starzl was the only Bearcat in double-figures, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds. DeAngelo Hailey scored nine points, but was just 3-11 from the field and 0-7 from three.
The Hilltoppers' Shimeek Johnson led all players with 18 points and pulled in four rebounds.
James Stukes scored 13 points and Zilijan Jones finished with 10.
St. Edward's shot close to 46 percent in the first half and 37.7 percent overall. The Hilltoppers made 8-24 from three-point range, five more than Northwest.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Bearcats got on the board at the 15:59 mark of the first period. A Starzl jumper started a 9-2 run pulling Northwest within a point; however the Bearcats were not able to completely close the gap trailing 34-22 at halftime.
Northwest continued to chip away at the St. Edward's lead in the second half but could not pull closer than five points. The Bearcats twice drew the game within two scores after a Starzl lay-in with 7:06 left in the game made it 51-46.
The Hilltoppers answered on a three-pointer by Stukes to make it 54-46, as Northwest would not get any closer the rest of the night.
Open looks were hard to come by down the stretch for both teams as they combined for just nine points in the last five minutes of the game.
The Bearcats play their final game of the Hawaii Classic tonight at 10 p.m. (CDT) against Harding. Results will be available in Tuesday's Daily Forum.
By Staff Report
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Staff Report
Updated Dec. 16, 2012 @ 9:24 am
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