CONWAY – Millsaps (Miss.) shot 64 percent (16-of-25) from the field in the second half en route to a 70-59 win over Hendrix in the season and Southern Athletic Association (SAA) opener for both teams. Friday’s contest was the first for each team in more than 300 days after COVID-19 delayed the start of the 2020-21 season by two and a half months.
Capacity inside Grove Gymnasium was capped at 100, with only current Hendrix students allowed at the Warriors’ home games in January.
Hendrix (0-1, 0-1 SAA) led by six points three times in the second half, the last coming midway through the period after a Craig Collier II basket made the score 43-37, but Millsaps (1-0, 1-0 SAA) closed the game on a 33-16 run. Cameron Williams scored five-straight points for the Majors, giving his team the lead for good with 6:18 to play after making the first of two free throws. The Warriors trimmed a double-digit deficit to seven after Seth Stanley converted a four-point play with 49.4 seconds left in the game, but his team would get no closer.
Cam Rucker paced the visitors with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Williams and Newlon Gillihan also finished in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Drew Burnett hauled in eight rebounds for the Majors.
Millsaps struggled from the field in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 31.3 percent (10-of-32) from the floor, 1-of-10 from distance and 0-of-5 from the free throw line and trailed 22-21 after Collier II hit a running 10-foot jumper as time expired in the first half. However, the plus-17 margin in the second stanza was spurred by a 55.6 percent (5-of-9) clip from beyond the arc and 71 percent (12-of-17) effort from the stripe.
Stanley scored a game-high 19 points, his 28th-consecutive game in double figures, and was perfect (5-of-5) from the free throw line. Collier II added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Alex Conrad pumped in 10 points and a game-high nine boards.
Hendrix shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) overall, including 42.9 percent (12-of-28) in the final 20 minutes. The Warriors ended 8-of-10 from the charity stripe, all in the second half.
The Orange and Black committed 19 turnovers, while the Majors turned the ball over 18 times.
Hendrix hosts Millsaps a second time Saturday inside Grove Gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. CT.