Men's basketball heads to Emporia to take on the Hornets

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Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will head to Emporia, Kan. tomorrow evening to take on the Emporia State Hornets at White Auditorium. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 PM. 

The Lions Last Time Out (9-6, 4-3 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball team couldn't overcome a hot shooting first half from visiting Nebraska-Kearney as the Lopers defeated the Lions 74-66 today at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Southern (9-6, 4-3 MIAA) was led in scoring by 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Jordan Talbert, his fifth double-double of the season. Marquis Addison scored 17 points and added three assists and three steals. Bryan Adams scored eight points off the bench for the Lions. The UNK lead was two (10-8) after a layup from Stephen Atkinson with 15:57 left in the first half. The Lopers, however went on a 18-1 run and pushed their lead to 17 (28-11) after a jumper from Mike Dentlinger. The Loper lead was as much as 18 in the half, the last time after a layup from Tyler Shields made the score 39-21 at 4:20 left in the half. The Lions closed out the half on a 9-3 run. Southern cut the lead to eight (55-47) after a layup from Talbert with 10:32 in the second half, but the Lopers pushed the lead to 17 (67-50) with 5:00 left in the half and despite a late run, the Lions couldn't complete the comeback. 

The Hornets Last Time Out (7-7, 2-4 MIAA): Four Hornets reached double figures as Emporia State handed Missouri Western coach Tom Smith a 71-60 loss in his last trip to White Auditorium.The Hornets trailed 10-8 early but then went on a 11-2 run to take the lead for good.  Emporia State led 30-22 at the half and would build a 15 point lead midway through the second half.  The Hornets hit six of eight free throws in the final 1:05 to ice the win.Gavin Brown led Emporia State with his second double-double of the year with 13 points and ten rebounds.  Chris Sights was the leading scorer for the Hornets with 17 points while Kaleb Wright added 16 and Paul Bunch chipped in 11 points.

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 384-289 (.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. 

Shaun Vandiver is the 16th head men's basketball coach at Emporia State University and is in his second season with the Hornets. He was 9-18 last season at ESU and is 16-25 overall in his career. He spent the previous ten years as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, most recently at Boise State University. 

The Series: Missouri Southern holds a 45-28 advantage in the series with Emporia State. Southern has won 11 of the last 17 and the last four in a row. The Lions have a 28-9 record against Emporia in Joplin, and are 16-19 in games played at Emporia. The Southern-Emporia series has produced eight overtime games, including two double overtime thrillers. The Lions have won six of the overtime games. Missouri Southern's biggest margin of victory was 43 points, 125-82, on Jan. 19, 2002. Emporia State's biggest victory spread was in 2007, (Jan. 17, 2007) defeating the Lions 105-67 (32 points).