Joplin, Mo. -- Four free throws and a dunk from Jason Adams in the final minute helped seal a 79-75 win for the Missouri Southern basketball team tonight in front of the largest crowd of the season as 2,477 fans filled the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (13-8, 7-7 MIAA) was led in scoring by 18 points from Mariun Price. Adams scored 16 and pulled down 13 rebounds, while Skyler Bowlin went 4-6 from long range, scoring 15 points in the process. He added five rebounds. Keane Thomann scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Western (14-8, 9-6 MIAA) was led by a game-high 21 points from Dominique Thuston. Three others were in double-figures.
Western opened up a seven point lead (10-7) four minutes in after a jumper from Thuston. A 7-0 run from the Lions, capped off with a three from Bowlin four minutes later tied the game at ten. A three from Price with 10:35 gave the Lions a 16-14 lead and layups from Adams and Rich Borries made the lead 20-16 with 8:23 left in the half.
Western re-took the lead with a three from Quentin Noblin that made the score 22-20 with 6:23 left, but a three from Bowlin gave the Lions a 27-26 lead with 4:37 left to play in the half. Another three from Noblin gave the Griffons back the lead at 31-29 and after a three from Bowlin with 21 seconds to go made the score 37-36, a layup from Marcus Rhodes as time expired made the halftime score 39-36, Western.
Neither team had more than a three point lead in the second half, before a 10-0 run by the Lions pushed the Southern lead to 63-53 after a jumper from Adams with eight minutes left.
Southern out rebounded the Griffons 44-30 and shot 49 percent from the field. The Lions were 10-14 from the free throw line in the second half as Western managed just 4-11 for the game.
The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday, February 10 as they play host to Pittsburg State at 7:30 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. It will be the finale of the team's Sonic Trophy Series.