SHAWNEE- Career high nights from Michael Maras (JR/Tulsa, Okla.) and Kilder Gonzalez (JR/Maracaibo, Venezuela), lead the Cavs past the Pioneers, 69-62.
The Wayland Baptist University Pioneers (13-8, 5-4 SAC) jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first half, but Cavs head coach, Dylan Lemley called a timeout to refocus the team, and SGU would then go on a 7-0 run to make it just a one point game. St. Gregory's (8-8, 4-5 SAC) led 14-12 halfway through the first half, and they'd build on that to finish the first half leading 31-24.
The Cavaliers' defense forced 12 turnovers, stole the ball from the Pioneers 6 times, and they held WBU's shooters to only 33 percent on shots from the field.
Kilder Gonzalez led the Cavs in the first half with 8 points and 5 rebounds, and Harrison Russell led the Pioneers with 10 points and 4 rebounds in the first half.
The second half started with a quick run by WBU, which gave them the 34-33 lead. The next five minutes were very back and forth, as the teams exchanged leads, but then with eight minutes to go, the Cavs took the lead for good, and closed the game for the victory.
Kilder Gonzalez recorded a double-double, on a career night by setting new highs in points (19), rebounds (10), and assists (4). Gonzalez was outstanding at the free-throw line by going 11 for 12 at the charity stripe. Michael Maras had a huge second half, and made several shots late in the half that put away the Pioneers for good. Maras finished with a career high 20 points, and he went 3-6 from 3 point range. Zachary Lemusu (SR/San Diego, Calif.) had a strong performance by scoring 9 points, grabbing 4 rebounds, and dishing out 3 assists. The Cavaliers bench scored 44 points on the night, and the team as a whole had 16 assists on their 21 baskets.
Wayland Baptist was led offensively by Russell Harrison's 22 points and 7 rebounds. Maurice Redmond and Joshua Throns each scored 10 points for the Pioneers.
Coming into the game, the Pioneers were the No. 3 team in the nation at knocking down 3's (208), and they were No. 4 in 3 pointers made per game (10.4). The Cavs defense held WBU to only 5, 3 point baskets on the night. WBU was also had the No. 14 scoring offense, averaging 86.95 points per game, and the Cavaliers held them to their second lowest point total of the season.
Next up for the Cavs is a battle with No. 12 Texas Wesleyan University on Saturday in Sumner Field House at 5 PM.