Dec. 18, 2009
C.W. Post 97, Northwest Missouri State 88
LAS VEGAS-C.W. Post forward Nemanja Jokic scored all 21 of his points in the second half to pace the Pioneers to a 97-88 win against Northwest Missouri State Friday on the first day of the High Desert Classic hosted by Central Missouri.
Both teams had three players who scored more than 20 points. The Pioneers' Roberto Macklin scored 18 second-half points and led all scorers with 27. Aaron Hall had 21 for C.W. Post (3-3), which finished 30-1 last season while advancing to the Elite Eight.
Girod Adams made six three-pointers and scored a season-high 26 points for the Bearcats (5-4). Elijah Allen had 24 points and DeShaun Cooper, making his first collegiate start, added 22. The trio combined for all but 14 of Northwest's points.
Northwest led by as many as seven in the first half and took a 42-41 lead into halftime. C.W. Post shot 70 percent from the floor in the second half to mount its comeback and shot nearly 60 percent for the game.
The Pioneers opened the second half with an 11-4 run and maintained a lead that hovered between five and 11 points for much of the final 16 minutes. Allen made two free throws with 3:55 left that cut the lead to 83-79, but the Pioneers scored the game's next nine points to seal the win.
Cooper had averaged 13 points in eight games off the bench to start the season before getting the start at point guard Friday. The move made Adams the shooting guard and the duo responded by combining for 48 points on 16-of-26 shooting.
The Bearcats had their best shooting night in five games at 52 percent, handed out 22 assists and made 15 of 16 free throws. The Pioneers ability to score at will in the second half was the difference.
Northwest started the year 4-0, but has seen its defense shredded in the second halves of games ever since. The Bearcats' last five opponents have combined to average 50 second-half points on 59 percent shooting including a 50 percent performance from behind the arc (18-of-36). The Bearcats were either tied at the half or held a halftime lead in three of their four losses.
Northwest will try to end its three-game skid tomorrow night against 12th-ranked Drury (7-1). Game time is set for 4:15 p.m. PST.
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Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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