Pittsburg, Kan. -- Despite scoring a season-high 59 points in the second half, the Missouri Soutehrn basketball team dropped a heartbreaker tonight in John Lance Arena as the Lions fell 94-91.
Southern (12-12, 7-9 MIAA) was led in scoring by 29 points from Marquis Addison as the junior went 6-13 from the field and 14-18 from the free-throw line. Jordan Talbert scored 16 points, while RJ Leverette scored 15.
PSU (15-9, 8-8 MIAA) had five players score in double-figures as AJ Adams led the way with 26 points.
The Gorillas raced out to a 6-2 lead early on in the first half after a free-throw from Denton Hays with just under 18 minutes to go. A layup from Leverette cut the lead to just one (10-9) at the 15 minute mark, but Pitt went on an 11-0 run over the next two minutes to open up a 20-9 lead capped off by a pair of free-throws from Kaleb Porter.
Southern answered back with a run of its own as a 9-4 run capped off by a free-throw from Blaine Miller cut the score to 22-18, Pitt with 10:49 left in the half. That would be as close as the Lions would get in the half, as PSU went on a 12-0 run to go up 34-18 with just under eight minutes left in the half and the Gorillas would lead 49-32 going inthe locker room at the break.
Southern opened up the second half on a 17-7 run to cut the lead to just five (56-51) after a three from Leverett with 14:22 left to go in the game. Pitt would push its lead back to 12 (77-65) after a three-point play from Adams with 7:41 left in the game.
A three pointer from Addison with 2:34 left to go in the game cut the lead to five (85-80). A pair of free-throws from Addison with 1:46 left to go made the score 87-84, Pitt and a bucket from Talbert the next time down cut the lead to one (87-86).
A three-point play from Porter with 15 seconds to go gave the Gorillas a four-point advantage (92-88), but a three from Cameron Cornelius the next trip down the court with just under nine seconds made the score 92-91. The Lions got the ball after a pair of missed PSU free-throws with five seconds on the clock, but turned it over and the Gorillas used a pair of free-throws to ice the game.
The Lions scored 59 points in the second-half, the most points scored in a half this season, topping the 52 points scored against Lincoln on January 12. The Lions shot 45 percent from the field and 54 percent from the three-point line as Southern knocked down 13 three's in the game, two shy of the school record they tied earlier in the year.
Southern will finish the regular season this Saturday as the Lions travel to Edmond, Okla. to take on Central Oklahoma. Tipoff is slated for 3:30 pm.