PRATT, Kan.- Hoping to the ride wave of taking down a top-25 team over the weekend, the Beavers fell at the hands of a talented Independence Pirates team, losing 78-66.
Sophomore Zool Kueth was once again the offensive spark for the Beavers, as his 26-point effort was a team-high. His primary weapon was the long ball, as he was six of 13 from beyond the arc (46.2%). Freshman John Long took advantage of his opportunity off of the bench in extended minutes, posting a career-high 13 points as lefty finished 66 percent from deep (4-6).
Playing with a short bench, the Beavers succumbed to foul trouble as Julian Eziukwu and Harrison Eghan, two of Pratt's bigger available bodies, remained in foul trouble for most of the evening. Both eventually fouled out as Independence saw the game turn in its favor. Pratt carried a 29-25 lead into halftime, though the Pirates saw the wear-and-tear of their full-court pressure begin to pay dividends in the second-half on both ends of the floor.
Independence outrebounded the Beavers 22-12 over the final 20 minutes while also finding a groove from deep, shooting 44 percent from the three-point line compared to 20 percent in the first 20 minutes. A 67-62 Pirates lead quickly ballooned over the final two minutes as Pratt was forced to foul.
The Beavers will head home for the holidays, returning on January 4 to play Neosho County in the second game of an afternoon doubleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 PM.