Joplin, Mo. -- The eighth ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team led from start to finish and defeated visiting Northwest Missouri on senior night in front of more than 2,000 fans at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center today.
Southern (23-3, 19-3) also wins its 19th MIAA conference game and is the only team in conference history to win 19 games in one season. Head coach Robert Corn also won his 350th career game tonight.
The Lions were led in scoring by Keane Thomann who ties his career high with 22 points. The junior added seven rebounds and one block. Marquis Addison scored 16 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. Jason Adams and Skyler Bowlin had 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Northwest (10-16, 8-14 MIAA) were led in scoring by 21 points from Elijah Allen as Kyle Haake, added 14. Arunus Simanavicius and DeShaun Cooper scored 12 and 10, respectively.
The Lions opened up a ten point lead (27-17) after a pair of free-throws from Addison with 6:40 left in the first half. The lead was as high as 14, twice, the last coming after a layup from Jordan Talbert made the score 35-21 with 4:25 left in the half. Northwest scratched back, however, and ended the half on a 11-5 run to cut the halftime lead to just eight at 40-32.
Southern opend up a 19-point lead in the second half after a layup from Kevin Hinsey made the score 58-39 with just over 11 minutes left in the game. The lead was as high as 23, three times, with the final time coming after a free throw from Bowlin made the score 83-60 with 2:48 to go.
The Lions shot 56 percent from the field and missed just two (23-25) free-throws, shooting 92 percent from the charity stripe, a perfect 13-13 in the second half. Southern held a 46-28 advantage in the paint over the Bearcats and had a 37-25 advantage on the boards.
Southern knows they will be the No. 1 seed in next week's MIAA Tournament, playing at noon on Thursday. The Lions, however, do not know their opponent yet tonight. Pittsburg State lost today at UNO and if Southwest Baptist wins their game against Missouri Western, SBU will be the No. 8 seed and face off with the Lions. If SBU loses, however, PSU will be the No. 8 seed and will play Southern.