Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will head to Hays, Kan. tomorrow to take on the Fort Hays State Tigers and wrap up its two-game Kansas road trip.
The Lions Last Time Out (9-9, 4-6 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball team came up just short tonight and dropped a close contest, 62-57 at 21st ranked Washburn University. Southern (9-9, 4-6 MIAA) was led by 14 points from Marquis Addison, while Cameron Cornelius and Jordan Talbert scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. After Washburn (13-4, 6-3 MIAA) went up 11-0 to start the game, the Lions fought back and cut the score to 15-8 after a layup from Cornelius. The lead for the Ichabods was 20-10 after a jumper from Christian Ulsaker with 5:56 left to go in the first half, but the Lions closed the half on a 13-5 run and went into the locker room, trailing 25-23.Washburn started the second half hot and led by ten (37-27) after a pair of free-throws from Bobby Chipman with 16:50 to go. The Ichabods led 43-32 with 9:26 left in the game, but a 9-0 run from the Lions, capped off by a pair of freebies from Addison made the score 43-41 with 7:29 left.A layup from Cornelius with 3:10 left cut the Washburn lead to two (52-50), and a three from him with seven seconds left made the score 60-57. But, a pair of free-throws from Will McNeill with five seconds to go sealed the win for the Ichabods. The Lions shot 35 percent from the field and 33 percent from long range, while shooting 75 percent from the free-throw line. Southern committed 24 turnovers and Washburn scored 25 points off of the miscues. The Lions out rebounded the Ichabods 37-28 and held a 20-12 advantage in second-chance points.
The Tigers Last Time Out (12-6. 6-4 MIAA): Fort Hays State men's basketball held off a tough Central Oklahoma team late for a 78-71 win in Hays on Wednesday evening (Jan. 30) in Hays. Craig Nicholson was big at the free-throw line once again in the clutch, going 6-of-6 under a minute to play to help the Tigers hang on and move to 12-6 overall and 6-4 in the MIAA.
The first half was a tight battle with the game tied six times and the lead changing hands five times before FHSU held a two-point 37-35 advantage at halftime. The largest lead for either team in the opening frame was five points by the Tigers, which occurred twice.
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 384-291 (.570) 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.
Mark Johnson is in his 12th season of directing the Fort Hays State University men's basketball program after being named head coach on July 13, 2001. He holds an overall record of 238-104 at Hays and is a 1993 graduate of Pittsburg State.
Series History: Fort Hays holds a 24-17 advantage over the Lions. Prior to the 2007-08 season, all of the games came when both teams were in the CSIC. The Lions have won five out of seven games in the series.The Tigers have had two separate streaks of five wins in a row. Southern dropped seven straight games from 1982 to 1985 and have lost 13 out of the last 15 games with the Tigers with the last meeting taking place in 1989. The largest margin of victory for the Lions came on two consecutive games on Feb. 18, 1977 and Feb. 3, 1978 when Southern defeated the Tigers by identical 15 point margins. The largest margin of victory for the Tigers came in the 1987-88 season when Hays defeated Southern twice by the margins of 26 and 44 points. At home, Southern is 13-6 against the Tigers. The Lions are 4-15 in Hays and are 0-3 in nuetral site games.