COLUMBUS, Miss. – The W men's basketball team ended 2019 on a high note with a 66-61 victory over Lyon College Monday evening. The Owls played well in its first game in over a week to improve to 3-10 on the season.
Keith Harris led The W offense with 25 points inside of Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium. The senior guard also added nine rebounds and one assist to the effort.
Sophomore forward Davon Kennick also had an impressive night with 10 points, four rebounds, one steal, and one block.
As a team, The W went 19-for-45 (42.2 percent from the floor) including 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) in three-point range. The Scots shot 21-for-54 (38.9 percent) from the field and 8-for-23 (34.8 percent) from beyond the arc. At the line, both teams struggled as the Owls landed 20 of 34 (58.8 percent) and Lyon College hit 11 of 21 (52.4 percent).
The Owls were successful during Monday's competition because they limited turnovers and played well defensively. The W forced 16 turnovers while only committing 12. The Owls scored 14 points off the Scots miscues and gave up 12. In the paint, The W outshot Lyon College 20-16 and its bench was more productive with 20 points to the Scots 13.
The W had a quality first half defensively, preventing the Scots from putting up points at crucial times during the game. Seconds after tipoff, Tre Pinkston put up the first two points of the competition with a layup for the Owls. Cole Anderson for Lyon College answered with a three-point jumper to give the Scots a 3-2 lead.
The Scots lead was short-lived as Tavonta Jones added three points for the Owls shortly after to put The W back on top 5-4. The Scots would grab the lead two more times during the first period at 13:51, 9-8, and 11-10 at 12:31 but the Owls capitalized on turnovers to clinch and keep the lead to close the first half ahead, 25-19.
In the second half, the Owls struggled to stay ahead with Lyon College going on a 10-3 run to get within one of the Owls lead (40-39) with just over 10 minutes left to play. The W refocused, putting pressure on the Scots and taking shots above the arc to remain in the lead for the 66-61 victory.
The Owls return to action on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they host Southern University – New Orleans at 4 p.m. inside of Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium.