Bolivar, Mo. -- Six-straight free-throws by Skyler Bowlin after three SBU technicals helped lift the 25th ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team over the Bearcats, 98-81 tonight in Bolivar.
Southern (9-0, 5-0 MIAA) remains undefeated and atop the MIAA all by themselves after the win, the first in the series over the Bearcats since 2006. It also marks the first time the men and women have swept at SBU since that same 2006 game as the Lions' women won 69-66 earlier in the night.
Southern also broke a school record tonight in field goal percentage as the Lions shot 82 percent in the second half and 72 percent overall, breaking the previous mark of 69.5 when the Lions went 41-59 against Southwestern Oklahoma in 1986.
The men had five score in double-figures led by 24 points from Bowlin and 23 from Jason Adams. Bowlin went 5-7 from the field and 12-14 from the free-throw line, tying his career high from the charity stripe. Keane Thomann scored 16 and pulled down nine rebounds, while Marquis Addison and Patrick Hester scored ten points each.
SBU (7-4, 4-1 MIAA) had four score in double-figures led by 19 points from Kurt Koenig. Nick James scored 17 and Zach Kliene and Tomas Brock scored 12 each.
The Lions led 13-7 after a bucket by Adams at the 15:27 mark of the first half. A layup from SBU's Jacob French gave the Bearcats a lead at 15-14 at the 13 minute mark of the half, and the SBU lead reached ten (28-18) after a three from Nick James with 8:05 left in the half.
SBU's lead would reach 36-23 at the 6:21 mark after a three from Zach Kliene, but the Lions stormed back and went on a 13-0 run over the next five minutes and a layup from Thomann with 47 seconds in the half tied the game at 36. A pair of three's from the Bearcats in the final 27 seconds, however, gave SBU a 42-36 lead at the half. The Bearcats hit ten three's in the half.
Southern trailed by nine twice early in the second half, the second time coming after a layup from Koenig made the score 49-40 at the 17:53 mark. Southern stormed ahead, however, and a dunk by Jordan Talbert gave the Lions a 57-56 lead at the 13:14 mark of the second half.
A layup by Koenig at the 6:53 mark gave the Bearcats a brief 70-69 lead, but Southern went ahead on the next trip down and would never trail from that point on. The Lions led by 11 (88-77) after a layup from Addison at the 1:46 mark and put the game away after the SBU bench, as well as Brock, was assessed three separate technical fouls. From that, Bowlin went on to make all six free-throws to push the lead to 17.
Southern went 22-35 from the free-throw line tonight and 36-50 from the field, going a sweltering 22-27 in the second half. The Lions out scored SBU 48-26 in the paint.
Southern will be off for the Christmas Break and will hook up with Pittsburg State on Sunday, January 2 when the two teams compete in the Sonic Trophy Series. Tip off from the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 4 pm.