Hays, Kan. -- The 14th ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team picked up a big road win tonight taking out eighth ranked Fort Hays 82-71 in Gross Memorial Collisseum.
Southern (13-3, 6-3 MIAA) was led in scoring by Jason Adams as the senior poured in 24 points on 10-19 shooting, adding seven rebounds. Keane Thomann scored 22 points and added nine rebounds, while Christian Salecich scored seven points and added a career high 10 assists.
Hays (10-5, 4-4 MIAA) was led in scoring by 13 points by Markus Yarborough off the bench, while Tyrone Phillips and Kendrick Morse both scored 12.
The Lions scored the first six points in the game and led by eight (12-4) after a layup from Adams with 13:14 left in the first half. Hays got to within four (18-14) after a pair of free throws from Karron McKenzie with just under ten minutes left in the half. The Lions, however went on a 13-0 run and led 31-14 after a jumper from Marquis Addison with with six minutes left. The Tigers got to within five, but a three pointer from Salecich with four seconds left on the clock gave Southern an eight point lead going into the break.
The Lions opened up a 16-point lead with 14 minutes left in the game after a layup from Stephen Atkinson made the score 55-39. The lead was 21 after a jumper from Addison made the score 71-50 with just over seven minutes to play. A pair of free-throws from Morse cut the lead to 11, but that would be as close as the Tigers would get.
Southern shot 54 percent from the field, 42 percent from long range and 77 percent from the free-throw line. They forced 17 Fort Hays turnovers and scored 26 points off of the mistakes. The Lions had 21 assists on 32 made baskets and had seven blocks on the night, including three from Adams.
The Lions will be off this Wednesday and will venture out of play on Saturday, traveling to Tahlequah, Okla. to take on Northeastern State at 4 pm.