It wasn’t a No. 1 stunner. It was a No. 1 beatdown.
That what happened Sunday afternoon when Glasgow, the No. 8 team in Class 1, knocked off top-ranked Meadville 59-42 at Mizzou Arena in the first game of the 20th annual MFA Oil-Break Time Shootout. The Eagles were the last remaining undefeated team in Class 1.
Glasgow, which played four games in a six-day stretch, trailed for a grand total of 65 seconds on Sunday, all during the second quarter. By the end of the third quarter, Meadville knew just how good Glasgow’s defense was.
“We did a really good job of taking away their open looks, and that’s what we had to do,” Glasgow head coach Mick Cropp said. “They’re capable of knocking down some threes.”
Glasgow’s defense, through the first 20 games of the season, has allowed an average of 31.3 points per game. Through the first six minutes of the game, Meadville still had a zero under its name on the scoreboard. In that time, Glasgow took an early 6-0 lead.
But once Meadville scored its first point at the 1:27 mark of the first quarter, the Eagles made a push. Meadville scored twice on offensive rebounds over the next minute and added a last-second bucket, cutting Glasgow’s advantage to 8-7 after the first quarter.
Meadville led on two different occasions in the second quarter, but both leads were short-lived. Glasgow received a spark off the bench when Austin Stockhorst hit two 3-pointers on two straight possessions, giving the Yellowjackets a lead they would never relinquish. Those were Stockhorst’s only shots of the game, but they halted Meadville’s only burst of momentum in the first half.
“Along with Austin and all of our guards, we’re working on getting them to be less hesitant to shoot the ball,” Cropp said. “We’re getting there. We really took some big steps forward this week in the Slater tournament and we’re adjusting to the way teams are guarding us. We’re really starting to turn the corner.”
Glasgow’s defense held Meadville to just five points in each of the second and third quarters. Through the first 16 minutes of the game, the Eagles were 0-of-10 from 3-point range. Glasgow’s defense worked overtime against Meadville, fighting through several screens on the perimeter during each possession through the first three quarters, not allowing shooters much of an open look. Instead, they forced the Eagles to throw up a low-percentage shot most times.
“That was one of the keys,” Cropp said. “We couldn’t allow them to fade and flare screens. We had to get through and fight through them as best as we could. They don’t need much room to knock down shots.”
Glasgow (17-3, 6-1 CAC) led 19-12 at halftime. Meadville cut the deficit to four points, 21-17, minutes into the third quarter. That would be the closest Meadville would get to the lead the rest of the game.
While the defense was playing at its best, the Glasgow offense surged in the third quarter. The Yellowjackets ended the quarter on a 15-0 run, this time holding the Eagles scoreless for a stretch of 4:54. Cropp said point guard Blake Hackman stepped up and created a lot of scoring opportunities in transition.
Ethan Thompson hit a runner in the lane at the buzzer to end the quarter, extending Glasgow’s lead to 36-17. Even if Meadville was able to score 17 more points just in the fourth quarter, it still wouldn’t be enough.
Joel Monnig, who didn’t score any points the day before against Fayette, had himself a game. The Glasgow senior had a game-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, and had a team-high eight points by halftime.
Monnig finished the game with a double-double, adding 14 points, and was given the game’s Most Valuable Player award. He wasn’t sure what caused his quick turnaround, that maybe it had something to do with the big spaghetti dinner he ate Saturday night with his teammates at Cropp’s house.
“I felt good after yesterday’s game,” Monnig said. “I had a tough game, felt all right on defense but just couldn’t get anything to fall yesterday. Today, I felt really good.”
Glasgow led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, but after three quarters of cold shooting, Meadville finally got streaky in the fourth. The Eagles made five of their six 3-pointers in the quarter and fouled Glasgow to try and get back into the game.
It didn’t work. The Yellowjackets shot 22-of-32 from the free-throw line, and Meadville never got as close as 14 points. Thompson scored a game-high 15 points for Glasgow, punishing Meadville by going 10-of-12 from the line.
“Jay shoots free throws pretty well down here,” Cropp said of Thompson. “He made a bunch of free throws last year down here at the Final Four. It’s no different than stepping up and knocking down a three. You just have to know you’re going to make it and put it in the basket.”
Glasgow had the chance to empty its bench during the final minute of the game and get everyone an opportunity to play. Hackman finished with 12 points and Reid Littrell added nine points and nine rebounds before leaving the game for good. Landon Brand also had two points and Jimmie Wilson made one free throw.
Derek Smith led Meadville (19-1) with 14 points on 3-of-16 shooting. Dalton Palmer came off the bench to score 11 points. The Eagles shot just 31.3 percent from the floor.
It wasn’t the first time this Glasgow bunch has won a game inside Mizzou Arena, but some players had to take a second look at the scoreboard when they saw the score during the second half.
“It was kind of unbelievable that we were up that high,” Monnig said. “Meadville’s a really good team and I don’t know if they just had a bad night shooting or if it was our defense, but it felt really good to be up like that.”