Joplin, Mo. -- The No. 23 Missouri Southern Lions avenged an earlier season loss to Missouri Western and took out the Griffons, 85-69 tonight in front of more than 2000 fans at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Southern (18-5, 10-5 MIAA) was led in scoring by 21 points from Keane Thomann on 8-10 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line. Jason Adams scored 19 points, 14 in the first half and dished out four assists. Jordan Talbert scored 13 and Marquis Addison had 11 points off of the bench.
Western (7-14, 2-13 MIAA) got 28 points from James HArris, while Lavonte Douglas scored 14 and TJ Johnson and Justin Reid scored ten points each.
The Lions started the game on fire and led by 20 early on after a layup from Addison made the score 30-10 at the 8:50 mark of the first half. The lead was 24 (50-26) after a layup from Thomann and the lead was 18 at the break after Harris hit a running jumper as time expired. the Lions made 15 of their final 17 shots to end the first half.
Western took that shot and turned it into momentum to start the second half and what was an 18 point lead at the half, was just four points (54-50) after a layup from Harris with 14:12 left in the game capped off a 16-4 run to start the half. The lead was just three (58-55) after a layup from Reid with 11:10 left, but Southern went on a 12-5 run to push its lead to ten (70-60) after a pair of free-throws from Adams with 7:26 left. The lead reached 16 twice late.
The Lions shot 78 percent in the first half (21-27) and 60 percent from the field in the game. They out scored Western 42-26 in the paint and 28-12 in bench points.
Southern will be back in action on Wednesday night as the Lions play host to Pittsburg State in a Sonic Trophy Series game. Tip off from the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center is slated for 7:30 pm.