Photo by Steve Woltman.
The victorious Flyers gather to celebrate the historic win.
Thursday, Feb. 15, the men’s basketball team traveled to Missouri and picked up two conference wins, including a 72-53 upset over Drury University, leader of the west division in the GLVC. The Flyers earned a 64-44 back-to-back victory against Missouri S&T on Saturday, Feb. 17, lifting Lewis head coach Scott Trost to his 221st win, surpassing Gordie Gillespie for the most in Lewis history.
The Drury Panthers entered Thursday’s matchup averaging 89 points per game, but the Flyers’ impressive defense held them at season-low scoring, restraining the second best 3-point shooting team in the country to just 30 percent from behind the arch. Lewis’ defense pressured the Panthers, which forced 13 Drury turnovers. The Flyers shot 10 of 22 from 3-point range and finished the game with 46 percent shooting from the floor.
After a slow 17-8 start, senior forward Cristen Wilson sparked the Flyers to a major comeback; he finished the contest with a team-high 21 points. Wilson also grabbed nine rebounds and shot 3-for-3 behind the arch. The Flyers led 31-26 at the half, only furthering their lead in the second by responding to Drury’s early baskets and then slowing the Panther’s offense to a near standstill.
Though Trost knew Drury would be a tough opponent, he had faith his team could present the same upset they had in the previous seasons. “The main thing is that we competed and I think they took ownership,” said Trost. “We talked a lot about that today. This is their team and this will go how they want it to go. I’m proud of their effort and a heck of a win against a good team.”
Lewis’ victory over Missouri S&T marked Trost’s historic accolade, with the Flyers winning percentage surpassing the .500 mark for the first time this season.
In the game, Lewis shot 44 percent from the field, which was led by sophomore guard Donovan Oliver with 13 points and followed by Wilson with 12 points and junior guard Delaney Blaylock with 10 points. The Flyers limited the Miners to 27.5 shooting from the field and holding them to just 14 points in the second half.
While Trost expressed gratitude toward his coaches, players and administrative support who have helped him to this milestone in his career, his attention is set on the final game of regular season. “I’ve been fortunate to have has some really good players and that’s the bottom line,” said Trost. “Maybe someday you’ll be able to look back on it, but right now, we’ve got to get the next one.”
The Flyers now await the GLVC to announce its top eight teams to compete in the postseason tournament.