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Season ends for Grizzly Basketball team

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The 2021-2022 season has come to an end for the Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) Grizzly Basketball team.

The Grizzlies (11-20) fell to the State Fair Community College Roadrunners 96-63 Tuesday evening in the Region 16 Championship Tournament play-in game at Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center.

The Roadrunners will move on and face 13th-ranked Mineral Area College (23-6 overall, 10-3 region) at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in the tournament’s semifinals at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. The Region 16 Championship game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Lincoln University.

The Grizzlies struggled to find the basket during the contest, connecting on just 39% of their shots from the field and 19% of their 3-point attempts. The Roadrunners, meanwhile, hit 62.7% of their shots from the field and 50% of their attempts from 3-point range.

The Grizzlies kept the game close in the first half and went into the break down just 4 points, 40-36. But the Roadrunners came out hot in the second half and outscored the Grizzlies 56-27 in the period.

Freshman guards Isaiah Lewis and Reese Dodson led the Grizzlies in scoring with 12 points apiece.

“It was good to see Isaiah back out there, and Reese has been good down the stretch for us,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Jared Phay said.

The Grizzlies ended the season without their starting point guard in the lineup. Freshman Sterling White remained in concussion protocol for the game, Phay said.

“We had a lot of adversity this year. Whether it was injuries, discipline or Covid related, things just didn’t go our way,” Phay said. “With that being said, I don’t want to make any excuses. This isn’t the season we expected to have.

“I want to thank all of the people who supported us this year. I promise we are going to recruit hard and bring the program to where it needs to be,” he added.

For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit www.MSUWPGrizzlies.com or call 417-255-7991.

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