Joplin, Mo. - Keane Thomann scored a career-high 19 points (15 in the first half) and the Missouri Southern basketball team defeated visiting Arkansas-Fort Smith 101-62 tonight in front of more than 900 fans at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (7-3) snaps a three-game losing streak. Thomann's 19 points on 8-10 shooting led five Lions in double-figures. Jason Adams scored 18, while Skyler Bowlin added 16 points and six assists. Patrick Hester and DaRell Crittendon scored 10 points each, with Hester hitting a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line.
UAFS (1-9) was led by 17 points from LaDustin Williams.
Southern trailed 10-5 after a Fort Smith jump shot from Jalynn Mitchell at the 17 minute mark of the first half. From that point, the Lions proceeded to go on a 31-2 run and a turnaround finger roll from Thomann with just under five minutes in the half gave Southern a 36-12 lead. A sky hook from Thomann as time expired made the halftime score 50-22, Lions.
Thomann scored 15 points in the half, one point more than his previous career high of 14 points against Southwest Baptist two weeks earlier.
The Lions' lead was 25 (67-32) after a pair of free-throws from Patrick Hester with just under 14 minutes to go in the second half. An alley-oop from DaRell Crittendon to Adams made the lead 69-36 with 13 minutes left. The lead reached 40 (87-47) after a pretty cross-over move in the lane by Chris Baker with just under six minutes to go.
The Lions shot 61 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free-throw line and out-scored Fort Smith 48-28 in the paint. The Lions forced 28 turnovers and stole the ball 12 times, scored 32 points off of the miscues.
Southern will be back in action on December 30 when the Lions travel to Missouri Western to face off with the Griffons.