The University of Missouri–St. Louis men’s basketball team received its highest-ever ranking last week when it showed up at No. 11 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Coaches Top 25 poll. That was even before it knocked off visiting Lewis 63-60 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Saturday to improve to 9-0 – marking the best start in school history. Forward Mayson Quartlebaum broke a 60-all tie with an old fashioned three-point play with 4.8 seconds remaining. Graduate transfer guards Victor Nwagbaraocha and Bowen Sandquist had 18 and 15 points, respectively, while helping the Tritons overcome a four-point halftime deficit and win. Coach Bob Sundvold‘s forced 17 turnovers in the victory. UMSL (9-0, 4-0 GLVC) is idle until Sunday when it takes on No. 24 West Texas A&M in the opening game of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena in Las Vegas. The Tritons are also scheduled to take on Rollins in the tournament on Dec. 19.
The Tritons burned out after a fast start and fell 67-55 against Lewis on Saturday in a GLVC matchup at the Mark Twain Athletic Center. UMSL hit five of its first eight shots and jumped out to an 11-2 lead but couldn’t sustain the early surge on a day when it shot 37.9 percent from the field. Freshman guards Morgan Ramthun and Amaya Blake finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively, and sophomore guard Jalysa Stokes added 14 points. The Tritons also played Division I Illinois State in an exhibition last Tuesday and lost 66-51 in Normal, Illinois. Stokes scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed six rebounds, and senior center Kiara Stewart added 10 points and five rebounds. UMSL is off until Dec. 19, when it will play Purdue Northwest in Hammond, Indiana.
Women’s Track and Field
UMSL opened its 2022-23 season running in the Eastern Illinois Early Bird, and it secured eight top-10 finishes during the Friday meet at Lantz Fieldhouse in Charleston, Illinois. Three of those top-10 finishes came in the 400-meter run, where junior Kennedy Moore took third with a personal-best time of 1 minute, 5.96 seconds, and Dominica Rooks and Desiree Brooks placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Junior Haeley Johnson ran a personal-best time of 8.21 seconds in the 60-meter race to place fourth. Four runners finished in the top 10 in the 200 meters, led by Moore, who won her heat with a time of 28.27 seconds to finish fifth overall. The Tritons return to the track on Jan. 14 for the John Craft Invitational, hosted by Eastern Illinois.