Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will start to wind down the regular season when the Lions play host to Emporia State Saturday night inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Tip off is slated for 7:30 pm.
The Lions' Last Time Out (11-11, 6-8 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball team lost a close one tonight, falling 77-73 on the road at Northeastern State. The Lions (11-11, 6-8 MIAA) held a 70-69 lead with 3:33 left to go after a bucket from Jordan Talbert. Northeastern State (17-6, 10-5 MIAA), however, scored seven of the game's final ten points to seal the win. Both teams traded leads throughout the first half and NSU went into the locker room with a 35-34 lead. The RiverHawks surged ahead for an eight point lead early in the second-half after a jumper from John Schneider with 16:15 made the score 45-37. The Lions faught back and a layup from Stephen Atkinson with 12:59 left tied the game for the tenth time at 53. Southern went ahead on a jumper from Talbert to lead 58-56, and led again at 66-63 and again for the final time at 70-69. The Lions were led in scoring from Talbert as the junior scored 21 points and added ten rebounds on 8-13 shooting from the field. He made 2-3 from long range and went 3-5 from the free-throw line. Marquis Addison scored 18 points, while Cameron Cornelius added 11.
The Hornets' Last Time Out (10-11, 5-8 MIAA): Central Oklahoma went ten of 16 from the three-point line in the second half to defeat Emporia State 83-69 on Wednesday night. It was just the third time this year the Hornets have been outscored from the field.Emporia State led 5-2 when Central Oklahoma went on an 8-0 run to take the lead. The Bronchos pushed their lead to eight with 4:49 left in the half. The Hornets then went on a 13-5 run to tie the game at 33 with 5.1 seconds left in the period. Cal Andrews then hit three at the buzzer to give the Bronchos the lead going to the locker rooms.UCO scored the first five points of the second half to go up 41-33 with 18:03 remaining. They had an 11 point lead when Gavin Brown hit a pair of free throws to pull the Hornets within 49-40 with 12:42 left. Emporia State would cut it to 12 with 8:28 left when UCO hit three more three pointers in a 9-2 run to take a 69-50 lead and put the game away.Taylor Euler led the Hornets with 16 points and Kaleb Wright added 15 points. Paul Bunch was five of six in the first half for ten points and only took two shots in the second half.
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 385-292 (.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 20-29 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 45-29 advantage in the series with Emporia State. Southern has won 11 of the last 18 and four of the last five. The Lions have a 28-9 record against Emporia in Joplin, and are 16-20 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).