January 4, 2013

Lions will finish up homestand with game against Missouri Western

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Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will look to get back in the win column as the Lions will finish up a homestand by playing host to Missouri Western on Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

The Lions Last Time Out (6-4, 1-1 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball team scored the first six points of overtime, but visiting Northwest Missouri scored nine of the final 11 points and came out with a 69-68 overtime win in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Southern (6-4, 1-1 MIAA) started the overtime period with six straight free-throws, four of which from Marquis Addison. Northwest (10-2, 3-0 MIAA) came back with its own 6-0 run to tie the game and then went ahead on a free-throw from Grant Cozad. A pair of freebies from Addison gave the Lions a 68-67 lead with 27 seconds left in overtime, but a layup from DeAngelo Hailey with two seconds proved to be the game-winner. A last-second shot from Addison was no good.Addison led all scorers with 24 points on 8-14 scoring and was a perfect 7-7 from the free-throw line. He had a team-high seven rebounds. Stephen Atkinson scored 18 on 3-7 shooting from long-range, while Talbert had nine points. 

The Griffons Last Time Out (5-6, 1-2 MIAA): Reed Mells hit a jumper with 19 second to play as Missouri Western came from behind picking up the win at Central Oklahoma. The Griffons snapped a four game losing streak and picked up its first MIAA victory of the season improving to 5-6 overall and 1-2 in MIAA play. The first half did not go well for the Griffons as they got down early 8-2. The Bronchos kept up the pressure ending the half on a 31-20 run claiming the 44-30 halftime lead. The Griffons shot just 39.3-percent (11-28) from the field and 4-of-9 from the free throw line. Dylan Frantz had six points in the frame.Josh Gibbs led the way for the Bronchos with 15 points while Jamell Cormier dumped in 10. UCO made 9-of-20 long range shots and 15-of-34 field goals.The Griffons picked up the defense in the second half holding the Bronchos to just 27.6-percent (8-29) from the field and 2-of-11 from long range.

The Coaches: In his 24th season as head coach at Missouri Southern, Robert Corn has guided the Lions to 19 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Postseason Tournament berths (14 straight) and four trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.  The 1999-00 Division II Bulletin National Coach of the Year, he holds a career record of 381-287 (.559) at Southern, and is the winningest head coach in Lions basketball history. A 1978 graduate of Southern, he has led Southern to eight 20-win seasons. His 1999-2000 team went 30-3 and advanced to the NCAA-II Elite Eight semifinals. Corn is fifth on the all-time MIAA wins list and third among active MIAA coaches. He is a three-time MIAA Coach of the Year winner, including a unanimous selection in 2010-11. 

Tom Smith enters his 25th season as head coach at Missouri Western and his 38th career year as a head collegiate coach. He has a 233-165 record at MWSU and an overall record of 613-452. Smith holds a .583 winning percentage that ranks him among the 20 top active coaches at the Division II level. He is the MIAA's all-time winningest coach. 

The Series: Missouri Western leads the overall series 42-40, however the Lions have won the last eight out of 11 matchups. The teams split the series last season. Southern is 30-11 at home, but just 10-31 in St. Joseph. Southern defeated Western in the final regular season game of 2007 in a winner take all game to gain a spot in the MIAA Tournament.