MARSHALL, Minn. – The Movin’ Mavs ended their 2017-18 season on a high-note with defeating the University of Missouri 49-35 for third place in the 2018 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament on Saturday.
“We worked really hard this season, we had some really good practices the last couple of weeks,” head coach Doug Garner said. “Some of the guys really came along and showed some progress this year. Of course, it's not what we wanted, but it's better to finish with a win.”
During the first half of the game, UTA would limit Missouri to just six made field goal attempts as the team shot 23.1 percent from the field.
Five different players would score for the Movin’ Mavs as the team would push UTA's advantage into double digits.
Multiple bank shots would be made by sophomore Clarence McCarthy-Grogan, who finished the half with a stat line of four points, six rebounds and three assists while graduate student Daisuke Mitsumoto scored six points grabbed three rebounds.
UTA would shoot 40.7 percent in the first half taking a 22-13 lead into the break.
Garner would start senior Mark Ramirez and junior Adryan Powell in the second half so the team could change up its offensive game plan.
The one-two punch of junior Fabian Romo and McCarthy-Grogan would push the UTA's to 14 points with 9:25 left to play in the game.
The Movin’ Mavs would extend their lead to as many as 22 points with 6:22 on the clock, which led to multiple Missouri timeouts.
“Just doing our business, it shows we handled the loss pretty well and moved on from it,” Romo said. “Me, personally, I’m gonna be sad about it for a while. Our season is done so we just got to go back home [and] start working for next season.”
Romo and Mitsumoto would lead all scorers with 14 and 12 points respectively while McCarthy-Grogan notched a game-high 14 rebounds and five assists.
UTA finished its last game of the season shooting 41.8 percent while out-rebounding Missouri 40-28.
“It hurts man, we didn’t deserve it,” senior James Ross said about the team's previous loss. “Other teams played better, we still had the best chance out of all. It's not gonna be given to you ever. The gym is there all the time, open. We have to get more players in there and involved and trying to get themselves better and the team better.”
With the team’s season coming to an end, the Movin’ Mavs will say goodbye to several graduating players, with some unsure if they will return to the team.