Joplin, Mo. -- The second ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball program got a career-high 32 points from Keane Thomann and the Lions defeated visiting Arkansas-Fort Smith 87-74 tonight at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (9-0, 2-0 MIAA) came out strong and led by 15 at the half, and held off a pesky UAFS (6-4) team that outscored the Lions 41-39 in the second half. The Lions were led by Thomann's 32 points on 12-17 from the field and 8-10 from the free-throw line and adding three blocks. Jason Adams scored 20 points and pulled down 11 points, while dishing out five assists and collecting three steals. Marquis Addison scored 14.
UAFS was led in scoring by 18 points and 13 rebounds from Djordje Stojanovic while Shawn Grant and Jalynn Mitchell scored 14 and 12, respectively.
Southern opened up a quick ten point lead (22-12) on a layup from Thomann with 13:02 left in the first half. UAFS went on an 11-2 run over the next four minutes and cut the Lions lead to just one (24-23). Southern fought right back, though, and went on a 16-3 run of its own and led 40-26 with 4:44 left in the half. The lead was as high as 17 (45-28) with 2:21 left in the half.
MSSU led by 21 (64-43) after a free-throw from Thomann with 13:24 left in the second half, and despite UAFS getting to within nine (83-74) after a pair of free-throws from Mitchell with 1:35 left, Southern held on for the 13 point win.
Southern shot 46 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free-throw line and despite being out rebounded 45-41, MSSU out scored UAFS 40-16 in the paint. Southern assisted on 20 of 27 made baskets.
The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday evening as Southern travels to Missouri Western for a 7:30 pm tip off from St. Joseph.