ST. LOUIS – The Mineral Area men’s basketball team remained unbeaten Sunday night after weathering an extended offensive slump.
Zac Cuthbertson converted 8-of-9 free throws and scored 13 points as the Cardinals edged Lewis & Clark 64-59 at the St. Louis Shootout in the second meeting between the clubs.
Mineral Area (12-0) faced a 44-38 deficit when Trailblazers guard Keontae Bridges sank a 3-pointer, but responded with a hustling 20-4 run down the stretch.
Cuthbertson, who was held without a first-half field goal, made a steal and drilled a pull-up jumper that gave the Cardinals a 48-46 edge.
Bridges tied the game again with a drive before Mineral Area rattled off the next 10 points. Sophomore Darius Thompson began that spurt with his second layup off a baseline inbounds play.
Devin Thomas powered in a basket just before the shot clock expired, and Shawn Roundtree knocked down two free throws for a 58-48 cushion.
Lester Gates sandwiched two 3-pointers around a MAC turnover to make it 62-59 with 15 seconds left, but Roundtree iced the outcome from the stripe after the Trailblazers hesitated to foul.
Thomas finished with 11 points, and dunked to help the Cardinals trim a six-point deficit to 30-28 by halftime. Neither team scored over the next 3:40.
Lewis & Clark temporarily sat two starting forwards with early foul trouble, but Will Sides compensated with big shots from the perimeter to tally a game-high 17 points.
Gates had 12 points and Bridges chipped in 10 for the Trailblazers (4-4).
The Cardinals were 23-of-29 from the line. Thompson and Roundtree netted nine points apiece, and Amar Miller contributed eight off the bench.
Mineral Area will again test its perfect record on Wednesday when hosting Lincoln College.