ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Tiffin men's basketball was unable to contain a red-hot shooting Maryville University squad in their season-opener on Friday night, falling to the Saints 98-84.
Maryville shot a blistering 57% (41-72) from the field compared to 41% (28-69) for the Dragons, which turned out to be the difference in the game as the two teams finished with fairly similar numbers in most other categories. Maryville shot 32% from deep to 31% for Tiffin, held just a 39-36 advantage on the glass, and both teams turned the ball over 15 times.
Tiffin was able to win the free-throw battle, going 19-23 (83%) compared to 9-13 (69%) for the Saints.
The Dragons got off to a decent start, as Joshua Williams knocked down a pair of triples and Terrell Mabins added a driving layup to give Tiffin an 8-6 lead just over two minutes into the game. However, the Saints would respond with 12 unanswered points before another Mabins bucket temporarily stopped the bleeding at 18-10 in favor of the home team.
That was as close as the score would be for the remainder of the opening period as Maryville, led by Casey Teson's 25 first-half points, jumped out to leads of as much as 23 before going into the break with a 22-point advantage at 54-32.
Williams began the second frame much like he started the game by draining a deep three, and back-to-back layups from Shane Waldon cut the Saints' advantage to 17.
As much as the Dragons tried, though, they were just not able to make up much ground after that for the rest of the game. Thomas Hickman and Jaden Terry were able to provide a couple highlight-reel plays on consecutive possessions late in the contest, starting with Hickman picking off a pass near midcourt and slamming home a one-handed dunk on the break. Terry then received an outlet pass from Waldon and weaved the length of the court before converting a nifty left-handed, spinning layup with a foul.
Tiffin cut the Saints lead back under 17 with a minute left, but it was far too little, too late as Maryville came away with the 98-84 victory.
Williams (24) and Waldon (23) both finished with over 20 points in the contest, with Waldon just missing a double-double by pulling down nine boards. Mabins also added eight assists for the Dragons.
With the loss, the Dragons fall to 0-1 on the year, and will look to secure their first win of the 2018-19 season as the GLVC-GMAC Crossover continues tomorrow afternoon with TU taking on the University of Missouri-St. Louis at 2:00 p.m.