Champaign, Ill. - Skyler Bowlin scored 17 points and Patrick Hester added 11 as the Missouri Southern basketball team opened up the 2009-10 exhibition season with a 95-67 loss at the University of Illinois tonight.
Bowlin and Hester were the only two Lions in double-figures and Jason Adams had seven points and three assists. Chris Scruggs had a team-high seven rebounds, while Rich Borries added six.
The Illini were led by 16 points from Demetri McCamey as Illinois had five players score in double-figures.
Illinois started the game on a 19-1 run before a jumper from Bowlin ended the Lions scoring drought. The lead was 17 (31-14) before the Lions ripped off a 10-1 run and a layup from Borries cut the Illini' lead to just eight at 32-24.
Illinois would answer, however, and finished the first half on 17-4 run to take a 49-28 halftime lead.
The lead was as high as 32 points, with three minutes left in the second half.
Southern made eight three pointers on the night as Bowlin, Hester and Adams each had two apiece. Travis Jones and Chris Baker knocked in a trey of their own. Illinois shot 52 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Lions 47-35. Southern forced 19 Illini turnovers.
Every one of the Lions played in the game and all but one scored.
Southern will be back in action November 14 when the Lions play host to Livin' the Dream in an exhibition at 3 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.