Men's basketball looks to keep streak alive with game at Northeastern State

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Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball program will look to make it a three-game winning streak when the Lions travel to Talequah, Okla. to take on Northeastern State at 7:30 pm from Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse. 

The Lions Last Time Out (11-10, 6-7 MIAA): Missouri Southern junior guard Marquis Addison passed the 1,000 point plateau and sophomore guard RJ Leverette led all scorers and the Lions took out visiting Central Missouri, 93-81 tonight at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Addison scored 20 points for the Lions (11-10, 6-7 MIAA) as he shot 5-11 from the field and 10-10 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. He currently sits at 1,005 points in his three-year career at Southern. Leverette scored 23 points on 9-12 shooting and 5-6 from long range, while he dished out three assists and four steals on the night. Jordan Talbert and Cameron Cornelius scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Talbert added six blocks in the game. Central (15-6, 9-4 MIAA) had five score in double-figures with Widgett Washington leading the way scoring 19 on 9-17 shooting. The Lions opened up the game with a 12-2 run, capped off with a three pointer from Leverette with 14:18 to go in the first half. Central would tie the game at 19 and took a lead on the next possession (21-19), but a layup from Miller and a bucket from Leverette would give the Lions the lead back and they wouldn't relinquish it. The Lions would go into the locker room with a 43-33 lead at the break. Southern led by as many as 16 in the second half after a layup from Cornelius with 6:49 left made the score 75-59. 

The RiverHawks Last Time Out (16-6, 9-5 MIAA): The Northeastern State men's basketball team earned a 72-56 victory over Truman State Saturday evening at Jack Dobbins Field House. The RiverHawks (16-6, 9-5 MIAA) picked up the season sweep over the Bulldogs (7-14, 4-9 MIAA) after edging TSU 72-71 in the championship game of the QU Holiday Tournament on Dec. 19. NSU shot 54 percent (25-for-46) from the field and 50 percent (10-for-20) from distance, while Truman State was held to 38-percent shooting (22-for-59) overall and 27 percent (6-for-22) from beyond the arc. Neither team shot particularly well at the free-throw line, combining to make just 62 percent (18-for-29). Junior guard Bryton Hobbs led the home side with 28 points, six rebounds and six assists. He shot 8-for-13 from the field, 4-for-7 from downtown and 8-for-10 at the line.

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 386-292 (.570) 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. 

Larry Gipson has led Northeastern State to an NCAA Division II national championship, four NCAA Tournament appearances and five Lone Star Conference North Division titles in 12 seasons. His 248 wins is second-best behind legendary coach Jack Dobbins (314 wins), but his winning percentage (.621) is by far the best in school history. His NSU record is 245-179 as he enters his 16th season. Gipson was named the 2003 Division II Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), earned the Molten/Division II Bulletin Coach of the Year award and was a coach at the USA Basketball Trials in the summer of 2003.

Series History: Southern has won five out of the last eight meetings between the two schools and hold an overall record of 17-15 against the RiverHawks.The Lions' 77-69 overtime win at home in 2006 stopped a three game losing streak to the Riverhawks. Southern had won just once in Tahlequah, but the Lions picked up a win at Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse last season. The Lions are 13-3 at home, 2-11 on the road and 2-0 in a neutral site against the Riverhawks.