BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. – Keith Harris scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but The W was unable to outlast Blue Mountain on Tuesday, falling 70-66 in Tyler Gymnasium.
Tavonta Jones scored 17 points and tied Harris for a game-high nine rebounds to aid in the game's effort.
The Owls (0-2) hit 22 of its 61 (36.07 percent) field goals, while BMC connected on 24 of its 64 shots (37.50). The W was 6 of 26 (23.08 percent) from behind the arc, while the Toppers were 2 of 17 (11.76 percent) from three-point range. The Owls made 16 of 33 from the line, while Blue Mountain converted 12 of 27 chances at the line.
BMC (3-0) had three players in double figures, led by Da'Jounta Ross, who scored 15 points, and Jonah Simpson, who scored 14 points. Will Gardner came off the bench to score 10 points for the Toppers with four rebounds.
The game was tight early, with each team holding small leads. The game was tied 4-4, 6-6, and 8-8 before The W pulled ahead, using an 8-2 run to take a 16-10 lead. The Owls would not hold on to lead long as The Toppers would go on a 9-3 run to tie up the game again at 19-19.
The teams continued to trade points until a three-point jump shot and split free throws at the line by Tavonta Jones gave the Owls a 36-32 advantage over BMC with just 2:09 left in the half. Another exchange of scoring would add a point for The W and four for the Toppers to give the Owls a 37-36 lead entering halftime.
In the second half, Blue Mountain regained the lead at the 14:35 mark on a three-point jumper by Gardner, 43-42. The two teams would tie again at 51-51 before Harris scored past the arc to allow The W to take the lead at 54-53.
The teams would remain within a scoring distance of the lead before the Toppers took their biggest lead of the game on a 15-5 run to pull ahead 68-61 with just 16 seconds left. Blue Mountain outlasted the Owls until the game's conclusion for the 70-66 victory.
The Owls will be back on the court on Friday, Nov. 15 when they travel to Talladega, Ala. to participate in the Talladega Tournament. During the two-day event, The W will face Rust College and Talladega College.