COLUMBIA- The Southwell Complex echoed with lively music from the band and cheers from the crowd as the Columbia College men’s basketball team defeated the Harris-Stowe State Hornets’ 74-53.
The Hornets' defense came out strong early, making it difficult for Columbia College to penetrate, but the Cougars answered back with perimeter shooting. Brazilian guard Henrique Medeiros sent the crowd wild after his 3-pointer extended the lead to 11-6. From that point on, the Cougars remained dominant — never giving up a lead to the Hornets—and Medeiros continued to shoot from the outside, making four of seven field goals from beyond the arc.
The Cougars applied their own defensive pressure, their tough defense resulting in two first-half shot clock violations for the Hornets, sending uproars of cheers from the crowd. Jordan Dressler fought his way under the basket for any opportunities, leading both teams with a total of eight rebounds.
"I was looking for holes in the zone. I just had to be assertive," Dressler said.
The Cougars ended the half leading 34-19.
The Hornets forced Cougar turnovers on several possessions early in the second half, slowing the game's pace and cutting the lead to 10. But with the crowd chanting and stomping for the Cougars to regain momentum, forward Hal Payne answered, banking in a layup and making the score 58-46.
The second half continued in back-and-forth foul frenzy with 13 total personals. Nonetheless, the Cougars found holes through the Hornets’ tough defense as Dressler weaved his way through. Sounds of awe came from the crowd as he then assisted Payne’s slam-dunk for the game's largest lead at 17. As the final play of the game, Medeiros sealed the win with a four-point play to make the score 74-53.
Medeiros led all scorers with 17 and Dressler added 14.
The Cougars go on the road for a two game stretch and next play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at William Woods University.