St. Joseph, Mo. -- A 15 point halftime deficit was too much to overcome and despite out scoring Missouri Western in the second half, the No. 1 ranked Missouri Southern men's basketball team lost its first game this season, falling on the road 75-67 to the Griffons.
Southern (9-1, 2-1 MIAA) scored the opening bucket, but the Griffs (6-3, 1-2 MIAA) went on an 11-0 run and didn't look back. Western shot 57 percent from the field in the first half and an impressive 6-7 from long range to lead by as much 19 in the opening frame. The Lions cut the lead to 12 (38-26) after a layup from Christian Salecich with 1:29 left, but went into the locker room trailing 41-26 at the half.
After trailing by as many as 16 in the second half, the Lions cut the Western lead to ten on five different occastions, the last time being when a layup from Jason Adams made the score 68-58 with just over two minutes left. Southern cut the lead to six with just under a minute to go after a jumper from Salecich, but couldn't complete the comeback as the Griffons made five of six free throws down the stretch.
The Lions were led offesnively by 22 points and 13 rebounds from Keane Thomann as the senior also added two blocks, two steals and an assist. Adams scored 17 points and added six rebounds, while Marquis Addison scored eight and Jordan Talbert, Salecich and Mike Thompson added six each.
The Lions had no answer for Western's long range shooting tonight, as the Griffons made 11-14 from behind the arc. Western shot 52 percent from the field overall. Averaging more than 20 assists a game coming into the contest, the Lions only had seven on the night and shot 42 percent from the field.
Southern will get back at it on Saturday afternoon playing its fourth game in a week as the Lions play host to Lincoln University at 3 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.