Junior guard Bryton Hobbs scored a career-high 32 points to lead Northeastern State to a 73-61 win over Missouri Western on Saturday at MWSU Fieldhouse.
Hobbs finished 10-for-17 from the field, 4-for-7 from distance and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line, while adding nine rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes for the RiverHawks (15-5, 8-4 MIAA).
The 32-point performance was the most by a RiverHawk since Muskogee High grad Dominique Gaines dropped 37 at Incarnate Word on Dec. 4, 2010.
“His game today reminded me of Jekyll and Hyde,” NSU coach Larry Gipson said. “He was really good offensively and good at times against the zone, but he had eight turnovers and got a little too careless at times. He has to tighten it up. We’re playing him a lot of minutes, and I think fatigue sets in.
“This was a good game for us after the last game. That was a very difficult loss for us at Northwest (Missouri State), and for us to be able to go on the road and at least get a split is a good thing.”
NSU also received a 15-point, 13-rebound performance from Jermaine Bransford, and senior guard Jon Miller added 14 points off the bench.
MWSU (8-12, 4-8) led 18-10 over the course of the first 6:33, but the RiverHawks flipped the script and led 31-23 at intermission courtesy of a 21-5 run in the last 12:59.
NSU came out of the locker room on fire, making its first six shots and powering ahead 48-33. The lead was never again in single digits, extending tow 62-42 at the 7:38 mark.
NSU will return home for games Thursday against Lindenwood.
NSU 73, MWSU 56
Six different RiverHawks (14-6, 9-3 MIAA) finished with at least nine points, led by 19 from senior guard Taylor Lewis. Lewis shot 7-for-8 from the field, 3-for-3 from downtown and made both free-throw attempts.
Senior forward Sarah Green scored a season-high 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds. Junior guard Taylor Collins and sophomore guard Fontana Tate both added 10 points.
“The mentality of our team pulled us through today,” NSU coach Randy Gipson said. “Our kids were determined. We played a team that really pressures hard and is really physical. You have to be really aggressive and strong with the ball the whole game.
“We came out and did that. We sustained offensive movement, and ultimately that’s what helped us break the game open. They had to chase us around with their press, and I think they finally wore down a bit. It certainly helped that we made some key shots.”
With an 11-all tie at the midway point of the first half, Tate made a layup at 9:53 that sparked a 7-0 run for NSU. Another five-point surge to close the half changed a 29-25 Missouri Western lead to a 30-29 RiverHawks advantage at the break.
Griswold’s trey at 16:34 brought the Griffons to within one, 35-34. But NSU outscored MWSU 38-22 over over the final 15:24.
Brittany Griswold led Missouri Western (13-7, 6-6 MIAA) with 22 points. Heather Howard entered the game as the team’s leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, but she was held to just four.