COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Owls men's basketball team improves to 5-10 on the season after defeating Rhodes College, 70-62, Tuesday night inside of Emma 'Ody' Pohl Gymnasium.
Senior guard Keith Harris led The W offense going 7-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-8 in three-point range. The Starkville, Miss. native added four points at the free-throw line to tie the game-high of 21 points. During the effort, he also picked up seven rebounds and three steals.
Assisting in the scoring effort, Milos Zeradjnanin and Tre Pinkston picked up 12 and 10 points respectively. Pinkston also led the Owls in assists with a game-high of nine. Carlos Wilkerson, a senior forward, led the rebounding effort to bring down a team-high of 10 boards.
As a team, the Owls hit 23-of-56 (41.1 percent) from the floor, 11-of-30 (36.7 percent) in three-point range, and 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) at the line. Rhodes hit 24-of-61 (39.3) from the field, 7-of 26 (26.9 percent) above the arc, and 7-of-10 (70 percent) at the free-throw line.
After a rough start, the Owls got in gear to be very competitive in the first half of Tuesday's game. Pinkston grabbed The W's first points, hitting a 3-pointer 17 seconds after tipoff to start the scoring effort. Rhodes' Preston Giroux followed with a layup for Rhodes to trail the Owls 3-2. The two teams traded points and were eventually tied at 8-8. The Lynx went on a 7-1 run to pull ahead of the Owls 15-9.
The W would continue to trail Rhodes with its largest lead of 23-13 at the 6:15 mark before halftime. Senior Jonte Moultrie stepped up for the Owls and sank back-to-back layups and an extra point at the free-throw line to cut the Lynx's lead to 23-18. The W continued its offensive assault and defensive pressure, allowing Harris and Moultrie to put up back-to-back 3-pointers.
With an additional three-point shot from Harris, the Owls tied the game at 27. Pinkston split a pair of free throws after being fouled going for a rebound to make an appearance at the line. With the made point, The W went into halftime with a 28-27 advantage.
In the second half, the two teams went shot for shot, not allowing more than a 5-point gap in the first 15 minutes of the period. With 4:16 left in the game and the Owls leading 57-53, Zeradjanin hit a 3-point shot to begin The W's scoring run. The Owls scored 15 points in the final minutes of the game while holding the Lynx to seven. In those minutes, Zeradjanin put up six points and Pinkston was responsible for three for the 70-62 victory.
The W men's basketball team will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 10 when they host Pensacola Christian College. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.