Kansas City, Mo. -- The eighth ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team took a lead with just under two minutes to go in the first half and never trailed from that point on, defeating Southwest Baptist, 101-94 in the first round of the 2011 MIAA Basketball Tournament in Municipal Auditorium.
Southern (24-3) wins in Kansas City for the first time since the 2005 season when the Lions won the first two games and fell in the championship to Central Missouri. It is the first time in four tries that the MIAA Tournament No. 1 seed hasn't fallen in the first round and it's the first time since 1993 the Lions have scored 100 or more poins in a tournament game (100-75 vs. ESU). It is also the first time this season the Lions have ecplipsed the century mark.
The Lions were led in scoring by Jason Adams with 23 points on 7-13 shooting. Keane Thomann and Skyler Bowlin each had 22 poins, while Jordan Talbert scored a career-high 10 points. Bowlin had five assists, while Marquis Addison added seven assists of his own. Adams and Addison had three steals each, while Talbert added four blocks.
SBU (12-17) got 27 points from Kurt Koenig, while Ryan Dougherty and Nick James scored 20 and 15 points, respectively. Tomas Brock scored 13.
The Bearcats led by as many as seven in the first half but a three pointer from Bowlin wih 9:20 left gave Southern its first lead at 22-20. Both teams traded leads unil a layup from Kevin Hinsey with 1:53 left in the half gave the Lions a 41-39 lead and the Lions would not trail from that point on.
The Lions had a 47-41 lead at the half and led by as many as 11 with just over a minute to go in the game after a pair of free-throws from Bowlin. SBU cut the lead to five after a late three from James, but free-throws from Adams and Patrick Hester pushed the final deficit to seven.
The Lions shot 58 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Southern was out-rebounded 34-33, but doubled up SBU in the paint, out-scoring the Bearcats, 44-22 in the lane. The Lions forced 14 SBU turnovers, scoring 21 points off of the miscues.
Southern will be back in action on Saurday when the Lions will take on the winner of the Central Missouri/Nebraska-Omaha game at noon from Municipal.