TOPEKA, Kan.-The Truman Men’s Basketball team followed up their dramatic win over Missouri Southern State with a second straight victory-downing Newman (Kan.) 78-72 in the first of the two games as part of the Washburn Thanksgiving Classic. Brodric Thomas scored 32 points, his highest point total since dropping a career high 35 against Maryville on January 19 last season.
At the start of the first half, Newman jumped out to an 8-4 lead. From there, Thomas scored six straight points for the Bulldogs; and the game was knotted at ten. Later a jumper from Thomas gave Truman their first lead of the game at 13-12 with 13:07 left in the half. After Newman briefly took the lead back, Alex McQuinn gave Truman the lead again at 17-16 with 9:21 to go. Thomas gave the Bulldogs a three point lead with a dunk to go up 19-16. Newman tied the game back up at 19, but from there a 7-0 Truman run gave the Bulldogs a seven point lead. Mark Rogers and Turner Scott got back to back buckets on the fast break, including a three point play from Scott. A layup from Hunter Strait gave the Bulldogs a 26-19 lead, their biggest of the half to that point. With 2:18 left, Thomas extended the lead to double digits with a three pointer to go up 31-21. The half ended with Truman taking their largest lead at 12 following a free throw from Scott to go into the half up 38-26. The Bulldogs shot 15-27 from the floor in the first half, with four made threes.
During the second half, Truman held off a spirited attack from the Jets early on. At 47-43, Newman had pulled within four points, forcing a Truman timeout. Thomas got a quick bucket to make it a six point lead for Truman, but a three from Newman made it a single bucket game. From there a shot from Thomas and a four point play from Turner Scott pushed the lead back to nine. Newman would push back, but not take back the lead. Mark Rogers gave the Bulldogs a double digit lead again at 61-50 with 7:27, and the Bulldogs held a comfortable lead until the final minutes. With 1:09 to go, Newman had cut the lead down to five at 72-67, but would not get any closer. Truman retook a nine point lead in the final seconds, but three free throws made the final a little closer at 78-72.
Thomas led the team with 32 points and in rebounds with seven. He made three three-pointers and had the only two blocked shots of the game. Luke TerHark had two of the five steals for the Bulldogs and Scott led the team with seven assists.
The Bulldogs will be back on the court Saturday as they take on Washburn at 3 p.m.