Bowlin scores 29 to lead Lions past Livin' The Dream in exhibition

Joplin, Mo. -  Skyler Bowlin scored a game-high 29 points as the Missouri Southern Lions pulled away in the second half to defeat a scrappy Livin' The Dream squad 103-81 in exhibition action Saturday afternoon (Nov. 14) at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

After LTD hit three treys to spark a 16-5 run to take a 75-70 lead at the 8:01 mark of the second half, Bowlin and the Lions turned up the intensity and took firm control with a 25-2 outburst to take a commanding 95-77 advantage with 2:22 remaining.

The Lions' defense forced six LTD turnovers and Bowlin scored nine points along with a pair of assists and two steals to lead the charge during the deciding run. 

The Lions appeared as though they may pull away early by jumping out to a quick 17-6 lead four minutes into the first half. 

After Chris Scruggs made a slam-dunk to give the Lions a 23-10 lead, Theo Jones nailed a pair of threes as part of an 14-1 LTD spurt that cut the Lions' lead down to 29-24 with 10:09 left in the first half.

The first half continued to be a game of spurts when Jason Adams capped a 18-5 Lions' run that put the Lions back on top 49-32 at the 3:56 mark.

But LTD hung around and ended the first half on a 12-0 run as a three by D'Ante Harris made it a 49-44 Lion lead at the half.

The Lions began the second half on the right note when Adams broke away for a dunk and DaRell Crittendon converted a three-point play to give the Lions a double-digit lead again at 54-44 at the 18:18 mark of the second half.

Southern still maintained a six-point lead at 63-57 but LTD refused to go quietly and came back with a 9-2 run when a three-pointer from former Lion Brad Mann gave LTD their first lead of the game at 66-65 with 10:53 left. 

Bowlin also had a game-high eight assists to go along with five steals and 13-of-14 shooting from the charity stripe.  Patrick Hester had 15 points off the bench for the Lions and Adams added 14. 

BJ Jones led four players in double-figures for LTD with 14 points and a game-high six steals. 

The Lions shot 52.2 percent (36-of-69) overall and 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from beyond the arc.

Notes: LTD members Brad Mann and Blake Bard were part of the 1999-2000 MSSU Basketball squad that finished 30-3, winning the MIAA Regular Season and Tournament Championship while advancing the NCAA Division II Final Four.