Lions lose heartbreaker at tenth ranked Fort Hays

Hays, Kan. -  The Missouri Southern basketball team went into hostile territory tonight and nearly came away with the upset, but the tenth ranked Fort Hays State Tigers held on to a late lead and defeated the Lions 87-81 tonight in Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays.

Southern (9-5, 3-4 MIAA) hadn't won in Hays since the 1981 season and nearly pulled off the upset tonight of the top team in the MIAA. Two more Lions scored career-highs in points tonight as Rich Borries had ten points and Alburey Doss had seven points off the bench. Jason Adams led the Lions with 19 points, while Mariun Price scored 15 and Chris Scruggs added 11. Skyler Bowlin added 10 points and three assists.

Hays (14-1, 8-0 MIAA) was led by Corbin Kuntzsch with 18 points and six rebounds. Four other Tigers scored in double-figures. 

Southern scored the game's first four points and hung close to the tenth ranked Tigers, never trailing by more than six in the half. The Lions tied the score three times in the half, before a jumper from Adams with six seconds left gave Southern a 43-42 lead going into the locker room.

The Lions led by six (55-49) after a layup from Bowlin forced a Tigers' timeout with 14:13 left in the second half. The game was tied for the eighth time at 55 apiece, before a free-throw from Scruggs gave the Lions a one point advantage with 11:23 left. That would be the last lead of the game for Southern as Kuntzsch hit a bucket to but the Tigers on top 57-56 the next trip down the court.

Southern cut the lead to three after a layup from Scruggs made the score 79-76 with 36 seconds left, but the Tigers went on a  6-0 run to push the lead to nine as a pair of free throws from the Tigers' Willie Hassell with 19 seconds left made the score 85-76.

The Lions shot 41 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free-throw line, while out-rebounding the Tigers 36-29.

Southern will be back in action this Saturday as the Lions play host to Nebraska-Omaha at 3:30 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.