Joplin, Mo. - Jason Adams scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the Missouri Southern men's basketball team defeated Southwestern (Kan.) 100-67 tonight in the final game of the 2009 Freeman Sports Medicine/Chris Tucker Memorial Classic at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (5-0) starts the season 5-0 for the third-straight season as the Lions are averaging 92 points per game this season. Southwestern moves to 3-6 on the season.
Adams led the Lions' offense as he had 11 points at the half. Keane Thomann had his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Skyler Bowlin scored 15 and Travis Jones chipped in with 11.
The Lions jumped out to a 22-10 lead halfway through the first half, after a pair of free throws from Chris Scruggs. Southwestern, however, went on an 11-5 run to cut the Southern lead to 26-21, before Southern answered back with a 19-0 run of its own to push the lead to 45-21 with 2:43 to play in the half. The lead was 17 (47-30) at the half.
Southwestern started strong in the second half and after a three to open the half from Adams, the Moundbuilders went on a 16-5 run to get to within seven (53-46). That would be as close as they would get as the Lions went on a 22-3 run capped off with a jumper from Mariun Price to make the lead 75-49. The lead was its highest of the night after a pair of free-throws from Chris Baker made the score 100-64 with just under three seconds left.
The Lions shot 48 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. Southern forced 23 Southwestern turnovers and scored 37 points off of the miscues. The Lions out-rebounded the Moundbuilders 46-28 and stole the ball nine times.
Missouri Southern will be back in action this Wednesday (December 2), as the Lions open up MIAA play and play host to Truman State at 7 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.