January 2, 2013

Men's Basketball plays host to Northwest Missouri

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Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will get back into MIAA play tomorrow (Thursday) night when the Lions play host to Northwest Missouri at 7:30 pm in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

The Coaches: In his 24th season as head coach at Missouri Southern, Robert Corn has guided the Lions to 19 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Postseason Tournament berths (14 straight) and four trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament.  The 1999-00 Division II Bulletin National Coach of the Year, he holds a career record of 381-286 (.559) at Southern, and is the winningest head coach in Lions basketball history. A 1978 graduate of Southern, he has led Southern to eight 20-win seasons. His 1999-2000 team went 30-3 and advanced to the NCAA-II Elite Eight semifinals. Corn is fifth on the all-time MIAA wins list and third among active MIAA coaches. He is a three-time MIAA Coach of the Year winner, including a unanimous selection in 2010-11. 

Former Northwest Missouri basketball player Ben McCollum is in his fourth year as head coach for the Bearcats. McCollum is the 20th head coach in the 97-year history of Northwest men's basketball. He is 53-40 so far in his second season and 33-31 in MIAA play. He was the MIAA and National Coach of the Year last year. 

The Lions Last Time Out (6-3, 1-0 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball program faced off with Livin the Dream today in an exhibition and came out on top with an 83-62 victory over a team full of former MSSU players. Southern started the game on a 12-6 run as a jumper from Greg Renfroe gave the Lions a six-point lead at the 15:15 mark of the first half. LTD cut the lead to just three after a three from Patrick Hester, but the Lions went on a 13-3 run over the next three minutes to go up by 13 (25-12) after a jumper from Marquis Addison. The lead reached 16 after a layup from Cameron Cornelius made the score 31-15 with 7:48 left, and the halftime advantage would be 17 after a buzzer-beating layup from Addison. The Lions pushed their lead to 26 (62-36) after a layup from Morgan Smith with 12:12 left in the second half, but LTD would fight back and cut the lead to 14 after a free-throw from TJ Britton with 3:48 left. Southern would finish off the game on a 7-0 run. Addison led all scorers with 22 points on 10-18 from the floor. He added seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jordan Talbert scored 16 and pulled down eight rebounds, while Stephen Atkinson scored ten. 

The Bearcats Last Time Out (9-2, 2-0 MIAA): It took a total team effort, as the Northwest Missouri State men's basketball team fought off a gritty Central Methodist squad for a 79-59 win Saturday afternoon in non-conference action from Bearcat Arena. Northwest improved to 9-2 on the year in the final non-conference game of the season for the Bearcats.A back-and-forth first half saw five lead changes as it concluded in a 35-35 tie. The first 20 minutes also saw both teams commit double digit turnovers before the Bearcats' inside presence and the return of a hot shooting Alex Sullivan helped Northwest eventually pull away for the win.

Series History: Northwest leads the overall series 25-18, but Southern has won six of the last seven games in a row, including sweeping the last two season series. Missouri Southern is 13-6 at home against Northwest Missouri, while the Lions are 5-15 in Maryville. Northwest has won all four of the neutral site games.While many of the games have been close, Northwest's biggest victory margin was 27 points, in the 2006 MIAA Tournament. Southern's most-lopsided win was a 93-67 decision on January 29, 2000.