Big second-half leads Lions to 77-51 win over Pitt State in Sonic Series

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern basketball team outscored Pittsburg State by 15 in the second half and held the Gorillas to just 13 field goals on the night, in a 77-51 win in front of more than 2,500 fans in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in the team's final game as part of the Sonic Trophy Series. 

Southern (14-8, 8-7 MIAA) was led by 16 points and seven rebounds from Jason Adams. Mariun Price scored 14 on 5-8 shooting, while Patrick Hester chipped in 12 points on 3-5 shooting from the field, 2-3 from long range and 4-4 from the free-throw line. 

PSU (8-15, 2-14 MIAA) was led by 19 points from Spencer Magana. Rodney Grace scored 12 and pulled down seven rebounds. 

The Lions raced to an early 12-7 lead after a layup from Crittendon with 15:27 left in the half. After a Magana free-throw, the lead was just two (14-12), but went back ahead and led by five (22-17) after a bucket from Borries with 9:51 left. The lead reached nine (26-17) after another Borries layup, and the Lions' run moved to 14-5 after a pair of freebies from Adams made the score 28-17.

A 9-0 run by PSU made the score 28-26 with just under four minutes to go, before a layup from Adams with two minutes left stopped the run and made the score 30-26. From that point, the Lions went on a 9-2 run with free throws from Adams and Bowliln, and threes from Bowlin and Price, including a long range shot as time ran out to go into the locker room up 39-28.

A 10-0 run early in the second half made the score 49-31 after a three from Patrick Hester with 14 minutes left, before a bucket from Magana stopped the Lions' run. A long two and the following free throw gave the Lions a 65-40 with 8:47 left in the game.

Southern shot 53 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free-throw line while limiting the Gorillas to just 29 percent from the field and 13 field goals in the game. The Lions forced 22 Pittsburg turnovers and scored 19 points off of the miscues. The Lions outscored PSU 32-16 in the paint. 

Southern will be back in action this weekend when the Lions travel to Emporia State on Saturday for a 7:30 tipoff in White Auditorium.