Tori Foster, Staff Writer

Mark Twain Building- Thursday, Nov. 29, was the University of Missouri–St. Louis women’s and men’s basketball teams’ blackout game. The teams faced McKendree in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener. The blackout game was presented by the campus Triton Pantry. The first 400 fans that brought in two canned goods received a free T-shirt, entry into a raffle for several prizes and access to the Qdoba nacho bar.

The GLVC schedule does not start until January, but this week UMSL was able to play against two of the 18 teams in the league, McKendree and Springfield. The remaining 16 games will be played in the new year 2019.

The women’s game tipoff was at 5:30 p.m. The women’s team has been on a winning streak since their first home game against Purdue Northwest Nov. 17. Their current record is 3-3 having won three home games and lost their three first away games for the season. The GLVC Preseason Coaches Poll picked the UMSL women’s basketball team sixth.

In first quarter, the women started off slow. #5 McKenzie Lathrom, freshman, undecided, made UMSL’s first point for the night by shooting a 3-pointer that was assisted by #11 Alex LaPorta, sophomore, business. The first quarter end with the Tritons in the lead, 23 to 16.

The second quarter was a rough quarter for the Tritons, but despite the missed shots and fouls, #23 Faye Meissner, freshman, accounting, managed to still score six points from her two 3-pointers. At halftime the Tritons had 31 and McKendree had 57.

The second half the game, #12 Laura Szorenyi, junior, communications, shot back-to-back 2-pointers in the paint. #10 Kaitlyn Henning, senior, nursing and #2 Arielle Jackson, senior, liberal arts, followed after Szorenyi with 2-pointers each. Tritons finished off the third quarter 56 to 42.

The Tritons ended their last quarter with points from free throws and LaPorta’s two 2-pointers. Szorenyi ended the game against McKendree with a 3-pointer. The women Tritons finish the game 55 to 72.

Unfortunately, the women had a 37.5 percent shot and 19 turnovers. On the bright side, LaPorta had a career high of 17 rebounds in the game along with scoring another 13 points making this her third double-double of the season.

The men’s game followed the women’s game at 7:30 p.m. The men’s overall record is 6-1, which includes the 4-1 home games they have had so far. The men Tritons  won three games straight in the beginning of their season. The GLVC Preseason Coaches Poll picked the UMSL men’s basketball team 10th.

After UMSL won the tipoff at the beginning, the game was heated from then. The Tritons did not hesitate to set the momentum they wanted for the game. #1 Jason Towery, junior, communication, shot a 3-pointer after the first 30 seconds escaped the time clock in the first half. #42 Eric Dust, senior, marketing, later followed up with a drunk making the score 11 to 6. The crowd began to watch intensively. As the clock hit 10 minutes, the Tritons start to show off their skills and tricks. #11 Ronnie Carson, junior, sports marketing and special education, shot a spinning layup and Towery hit a midrange jumper that was assisted by #23 Steve Webb, freshman, software engineering. The score was Tritons 27, McKendree 10. The first half was ended with Towery and Carson both scoring 13 points. As well as Dust and #10 Johnathan Matthews, senior, communications, scoring 10 points each. By halftime the score was 48 to 26.

During halftime, the cheerleaders did a halftime dance performance to Beyoncé’s  “Flawless” remix. The sponsor for the event, the Triton Pantry, announced the raffle winners for the special prizes, which included things like a Dominos gift card and 50-inch television. Next, the UMSL Athletics department announced and presented all the students’ athletes with academic achievements a water bottle for having a grade-point average of 3.3 while playing sports.

Starting back the game in the second half, Matthews opened the half with an easy layup in the paint. Even though the game had a rather slow start compared to the first half, the Tritons were ready to put to the pressure on McKendree. Once Matthews shot a 3-pointer with 12 minutes on the clock remaining, there was no looking back for the Tritons. The top three shooters for the second half were: #22 Josh Carter, junior, sports management, with 8 points; Matthews with 7 points; and Carson and Dust tied with 6 points each. The game ended with #35 Jose Grubbs, sophomore, undecided, making a 2-pointer.

The men’s basketball game final score was 87-55. UMSL led from start to finish, not giving McKendree time to catch up.

UMSL’s basketball teams play Springfield Saturday. The women’s game starts at 1 p.m. and the men’s game starts at 3 p.m.