The 10th ranked Missouri Southern basketball team used a 12-0 second half run to open up a 33-point lead and defeated Missouri Western 81-58. The win is the fourth win in a row in the series with Western and is the largest margin of victory for the Lions since Southern defeated Maryville by 49 last season.
Southern (13-1, 3-1 MIAA) scored the game’s first points when Mariun Price connected on a three in the Lion’s first possession. Western (6-5, 3-2 MIAA) answered back with a layup from James Bush and a three point play from Bush gave Western it’s first lead of the half at 5-4 with 16:14 left to go.
The Lions responded with a three point play from Skyler Bowlin to take a four point lead (11-7) at the 13 minute mark and went up eight points after a pair of free throws from Patrick Hester made the score 18-10 with 10:26 left in the half. A three from Bowlin made the Lions’ lead 14 (33-19) with two minutes left and a dunk from Jason Adams as time was expiring gave the Lions a 38-22 lead at the half.
Crittendon had a game-high 11 points at the half on 5-6 shooting from the field as the Lions shot 54 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range.
A layup from Western’s Bush cut the Lions’ lead to 14 (47-33) at the 15 minute mark second half, and the Lions led by 21 (59-38) just two minutes later. A pair of free-throws from Adams ran the lead to 23 the next trip down and started a 12-0 run for Southern, running the Lions’ lead to 33 (71-38) after a three from Adams with 7:44 left. The lead was 31 twice more.
Crittendon had a career high 16 points in the game, going 7-8 from the field. Adams had 12 points, while Bowlin and Vincent Ateba had 11 points each. Ateba added seven rebounds, while Bowlin had four assists and three steals.
Bush led the Griffons with 21 points and seven rebounds.
The Lions shot 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from long range, while hitting 82 percent of their free throws. Southern forced 26 Western turnovers, scoring 36 points off of the miscues.
The Lions will be back in action this Saturday, January 2 as they play host to Pittsburg State at 7:30 pm.