Lions advance to MIAA Championship with 70-67 win over Northwest Missouri

Kansas City, Mo. -- Missouri Southern senior guard Marquis Addison scored 22 points and the Lions advanced to the finals of the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament with a 70-67 win over Northwest Missouri tonight inside Municipal Auditorium. 

Southern (23-5) wins its eighth game in a row and will play against Central Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon in a 3:30 pm tipoff for the MIAA Championship. It is the second time in the last three years the Lions will play in the Championship Game as Southern lost out to Fort Hays in the 2011 title matchup. 

Addison scored 22 points on 8-19 shooting and 3-6 from long range and 3-4 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, while playing 34 minutes of the game. Cameron Cornelius had 18 points on 6-10 shooting and went 2-2 from long-range and 4-5 from the free-throw line. 

Northwest (22-8) had three score in double-figures led by 17 points from Dillon Starzl and 16 from DeShaun Cooper. 

Addison scored the game's first points with a three pointer just 16 seconds in. Northwest, however, answered back and led by ten (18-8) after a jumper from Matt Wallace with 9:20 left in the half. The Lions went on a 14-3 run, capped off by a three from Cornelius with 4:11 left that made the score 22-21. 

A pair of free-throws from Addison with 1:06 left in the half gave the Lions a 28-25 lead, but Northwest went on a 5-0 run to end the half and the Bearcats led 30-28 at the break. 

A layup from Talbert with 15:46 left in the game gave the Lions a 41-35 lead and a bucket from Addison with 13:51 left kept the Lions lead at six (43-37). The teams would trade baskets but Northwest would push its lead to four (57-53) with 6:52 left. The Lions tied the game at 60 on a jumper from Addison and a layup from Barlow with 3:02 left gave Southern a 64-61 lead. The Lions led by four (67-63) after a three from Addison at the 2:33 mark, but Northwest tied the game at 67 on a layup from Conner Crooker with 43 seconds to go. Clutch free-throws from Cornelius and Addison in the final 30 seconds and a forced turnover sealed the game for the Lions. 

Southern shot 49 percent from the field and 43 percent from long-range, while making 71 percent of its free-throws. The Lions had five blocks and forced 16 Northwest turnovers, scoring 19 points off of the miscues. 

Championship Sunday will feature the Lions and Central Oklahoma tomorrow at 3:30 pm from Municipal Auditorium. The Lions defeated Central Oklahoma 92-79 in Edmond earlier this season. The game will be televised as part of the MIAA-TV network and as always will be broadcast live on 97.9 FM.