Trailing 18-17 at the ten minute mark of the first half, Missouri Southern went on a 21-0 run over the next nine minutes and the Lions never trailed from that point, defeating visiting Northeastern State, 66-53 tonight.
Southern (5-0) has started the season 5-0 for the second year and a row and the third time in coach Robert Corn’s tenure.
The Lions fell behind early as the RiverHawks (0-3) opened up a six point lead (13-7) after a layup from Ricky Branham. Southern surged ahead for the first time in the game at 17-16 after a jumper from Tony Webb, but NSU answered right back with a bucket from Ralph Monday.
Another jumper from Webb gave the Lions a lead at 19-18 and the Lions wouldn’t stop. Strong defense forced ten turnovers over the next seven minutes and the Lions increased their lead to 20 (38-18) after a layup from Webb. The RiverHawks scored five points as time expired in the half, but the Lions led 44-23 going into the locker room.
Southern shot 61 percent in the first half led by 7-9 shooting from Webb and 5-6 shooting from Jason Adams.
NSU made five three pointers in the first ten minutes of the second half, chopping the Southern lead to 54-41 as the RiverHawks outscored the Lions 18-10 to start the half. A layup from Matt Monroe, however, gave the Lions a 15 point lead (56-41) and started a Southern 10-0 run as the Lions pushed their lead back to 23 (64-41) after a jumper from Keane Thomann.
The RiverHawks went on a 12-2 run to end the game, but the damage had been done.
Webb led three Lions in double-figures with 16 points, going 7-11 from the field. Adams went 6-9 from the field with 12 points and six rebounds. Monroe had 11 points off the bench.
Southern shot 55 percent from the field and forced 20 NSU turnovers, scoring 30 points off the miscues. The Lions outscored NSU 42-16 in the paint and Southern’s bench outscored the RiverHawks 43-17.
The Lions will be back in action as the team travels to Pittsburg to compete in the Chatters/Comfort Inn Classic hosted by Pittsburg State this Friday and Saturday. Southern will face off with Henderson State on Friday at 5 pm and then conclude the classic with Evangel at 5 pm on Saturday.
Story courtesy MSSU athletics