The Missouri Southern basketball team weathered a late run for the second night in a row, but the Lions did what good teams do and scored 24 points off of 25 forced turnovers and defeated Concordia College (NY) 74-70 Friday in the semi finals of the Puerto Rico/Lexmark Holiday Tournament.
Southern (11-0) continues its school-record perfect start and moves into the Championship Game of the tournament tomorrow evening, facing off against the University of Puerto Rico – Bayamon at 5 pm.
The Lions started strong and led 19-7 after a three pointer from Jason Adams with just under 12 minutes to go in the half. The Lions led 40-23 with three minutes to go in the half, but the Clippers (2-8) went on an 11-2 run to make the score 42-34 at the half. Southern forced 19 turnovers in the first half and scored 20 points off the Concordia miscues
The Lions started the second half the same way they started the game and after a three from Concordia’s Samuel Batista made the Southern lead just five (42-37), Chris Scruggs scored on a layup, starting a 13-3 run that saw the Lions’ lead balloon to 15 at the 14:28 mark of the half, capped off by a bucket from Vincent Ateba.
The Clippers, however, answered with a 19-4 run of their own and tied the game at 59 at the nine minute mark of the half. Matt Monroe stopped the run with a layup the next time down the floor and the Lions closed the game on a 15-11 run.
Mariun Price led the Lions with 18 points on 6-12 shooting from the floor, nailing three shots from long range. Ateba had 15 points and five rebounds on 6-8 shooting from the field, while Skyler Bowlin scored 11, dished out three and had six steals, tying a career high.
Batista led the Clippers with 23 points on the night, while William Eason scored 19.