Joplin, Mo. -- The 19th ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team posed a late comeback today against visiting Pittsburg State University, but couldn't complete the task and fell 77-75 in front of more than 2,400 fans at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (9-1, 5-1 MIAA) loses for the first time this year and the first time at home since January 27 of last season against Central Missouri. The Lions were led in scoring by Jason Adams as the junior had a milestone night with 19 points, including going over 1,000 for his career at Southern.
Pitt (7-3, 3-3 MIAA) was led by 17 points from Eric Marshall. JaVon McGee had 11 points off the bench.
Southern trailed 43-40 at the half, but the Lions went on a 7-2 run to start the second and led 47-45 after a free throw from Keane Thomann with 17:21 to go. Southern held one-point leads twice more in the second half, the last coming after a free-throw from Bowlin gave the Lions a 64-63 lead with 8:24 to go.
After trailing by as much as seven (73-66) late in the game, Southern fought back and had a chance to tie the game when Bowlin was fouled beyond the arc with 1.8 seconds left, trailing PSU, 77-74. The senior made the first, but missed his second. He intentionally missed the third free-throw and the Lions looked to have secured the ball with less than a second left on the clock. The officials reviewed the play and awarded the ball to the Lions with 0.3 seconds to play, but the tip-in by Adams was no good.
The Lions committed 21 turnovers on the night and were out scored by Pitt, 42-26 in the paint.
Southern now will head back on the road for a Wednesday night game at Emporia State. Both the Lions and the Hornets are tied at 5-1 in MIAA play and tip off from White Auditorium is slated for 7:30 pm.