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Thames receives recognition for weekend performance

Jan. 22—Missouri Western men's basketball's leading scorer on the year was named MIAA Men's Basketball Athlete of the Week on Monday.

JaRon Thames's 18 point performance last Saturday in a close win over Central Oklahoma helped him earn the honors. Thames has scored in double figures in each game this season and has been a key cog in Western's 14-3 record and current six-game winning streak.

12 of Thames's 18 points on Saturday came in the second half as Western was clawing its way back in a game against the Bronchos that saw 10 lead changes and five ties.

The fifth-year senior is one of many players on the men's team that returned for another season after losing very little in the offseason. As Thames believes, the team's success through 17 games has manifested itself through the hunger each returner felt after the way last season ended at the hands of Northwest Missouri State in the MIAA Tournament.

"We just playing hard for each other, and we playing hard for the coaches," Thames said after the win against Central Oklahoma on Saturday. "We didn't end the season well like how we wanted to last year, so we had a lot of returners coming and we had a chip on our shoulder this year."

Western men will be on the road this week for more MIAA play as they sit in second place in the standings. They'll travel to Lincoln on Wednesday and Central Missouri on Saturday.

Jacob Meikel can be reached at jacob.meikel@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @NPNowMeikel.