Warrensburg, Mo. -- The second-ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team went into the locker room down by one at the half, but out scored Central Missouri by nine in the second half to win 72-64 and remain undefeated today.
Southern (8-0, 2-0 MIAA) should move up to the No. 1 ranking next week when the poll is released on Tuesday as current No. 1 Bellarmine has lost already this week.
The Lions were led offensively by Jason Adams as the senior scored 22 points and added ten rebounds and five assists, while stealing the ball four times. Jordan Talbert scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while adding three blocks. Keane Thomann scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds, while adding a career high five blocks in the effort.
Central Missouri (5-2, 1-1 MIAA) had three score in double figures led by 17 points from Widgett Washington, while Dominique Long and Boo Hunter added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Lions led by five (10-5) early on after a pair of free-throws from Talbert with just under 15 minutes left in the first half. Central took a four-point lead (20-16) after a layup from Long with ten minutes left and the Lions led by four after a jumper from Adams gave Southern a 27-23 lead with just 1:51 left. A three from Long and a pair of free-throws from Washington gave the Mules a one-point lead heading in to the locker room.
Southern scored the first six points of the second half to open up a 35-30 lead after a jumper from Adams in the paint. A trio of free throws from Hunter gave the Mules a two point advantage at 43-41 with 11:37 left to go in the game, but a three from Adams with 10:43 left gave the Lions a one-point lead (44-43) and they would not relinquish the advantage. The lead would be as high as 12 after a pair of free-throws by Christian Salecich made the score 72-60 with 42 seconds to go.
The Lions' defense came up big, holding Central to just 29 percent from the field and 31 percent from long range.
Southern will be back in action on Monday night when the Lions play host to Arkansas-Fort Smith at 7 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.