PRYOR — It’s not sure who played the uglier half, Miami or Pryor.
But it was the Tigers who came away with a 43-31 victory Tuesday night at the Burdick Center.
The Wardogs — mired in an 11-game losing streak (their longest since the 1990s) — were blanked in the first quarter and had only six points in the opening half.
They had only seven at the break in last Saturday’s loss at Seneca, Mo.
“It’s so frustrating,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “I bet we had seven or eight point-blank layups in the first half. Perhaps if those had dropped early … but you can’t rely on that. You have to play the game the right way and put forth the effort.”
The Wardogs didn’t get their first point until Keaton Blevins hit the front end of a two-shot foul situation with 9:35 elapsed. By then, it was 15-1.
They didn’t drain their first field goal until 5:20 of the second, when Casey Hunter scored on a putback. They had been 0-of-17 up to that point.
Miami finished the first half at 2-of-22. In addition to Hunter’s follow-up, Cade Pogue drilled the first of his three treys on the night.
Pryor carried a 23-6 lead into the half and was poised to turn the game into a blowout.
But just as Miami had struggled in the first two quarters, the Tigers floundered in the second half.
The Wardogs trailed 29-18 at the end of the third and was within five with 58.8 seconds left, but Pryor converted on 7 of 8 free throw chances to seal the deal.
The Tigers’ 20 second-half points included just one field goal — a third-period bucket from inside by 6-3 senior Jordan Madole.
“We played with the correct effort and energy we need in the second half,” Mercer said. We just had too many moments where we didn’t play well.”
Hunter headed up the Miami scoring with 16 points. He got 14 of that in the second half, including 10 in the third period.
Parker Ballard and Madole paced Pryor with 13 and 12, respectively.
“Our energy level picked up in the second half,” Mercer said. “We were not happy with the way we were sitting at halftime. They may have relaxed a little bit with the lead and the way things went in the first half.”
Weather permitting, Miami entertains Coffeyville, Kan., for homecoming Friday night.
Miami 0 6 12 13 — 31
Pryor 11 12 6 14 — 43
Miami — Hunter 16, Pogue 9, Rodriguez 4, Blevins 1, Millard 2.
Pryor — Ballard 13, Madole 12, Ogg 9, Stimson 5, Conley 2, Jarboe 2.
3-point goals — Miami, Pogue 3; Pryor, none.