Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team will head to Kansas City to take on Fort Hays State in the 2013 MIAA Basketball Tournament this Thursday, March 7 at noon from Municipal Auditorium.
The Lions' Last Time Out (13-14, 7-11 MIAA): The Missouri Southern men's basketball team erased a ten-point halftime deficit and won 68-66 at Emporia State tonight in a first-round MIAA Tournament game. Southern will now move on to Kansas City to face Fort Hays at noon on Thursday in Municipal Auditorium.Southern (13-14) trailed 44-34 at the break, and trailed by nine (52-43) after a three pointer from Emporia's (13-14) Gavin Brown with 14:32 left to go in the game. The Lions, however, fought back and took a one-point lead (58-57) after a three pointer from Austin Wright with 7:53 left in the game. The two teams traded leads for the final seven minutes, before a pair of free throws from Stephen Atkinson with 31 seconds to go tied the game at 66. That's where the game got really interesting. Marquis Addison stole the ball with 19 seconds left and the Lions called a timeout. Southern ran a play, but turned the ball over with four seconds to play. Emporia, however, turned the ball over before they could inbound when the Hornet player traveled on the baseline. The Lions' inbounded the ball and Addison was fouled. He calmly made both freebies and a last-second shot for Emporia would not fall. Jordan Talbert led all players with 16 pointsand seven rebounds, going 10-10 from the free-throw line. Addison had 15 points and 11 rebounds, going 9-10 from the charity stripe. Atkinson scored 11, while RJ Leverette added eight points. The Lions shot 43 percent from the field and 88 percent from the free-throw line making 30-of-34 freebies. Southern had a 32-22 advantage of points in the paint, and held a 9-2 advantage in second-chance points. The Lions out-rebounded the Hornets 31-26.
The Tigers' Last Time Out (19-7, 13-5 MIAA): Fort Hays State punched its ticket to Kansas City for the MIAA Tournament by earning a first-round bye with an 87-53 win over Lincoln on Friday evening (Mar. 1) in Hays. The Tigers finish the regular season at 19-7 overall, 13-5 in the MIAA and have clinched at least the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Fort Hays State could still earn a share of the conference regular season title with a Central Missouri loss at Washburn on Saturday.
Lincoln had an early 7-2 lead on FHSU, but the Tigers quickly ran past the Blue Tigers with a 21-4 run to build a 13-point lead midway through the opening half. FHSU eventually led by 15 at halftime, 40-25.
Leading by 16 in the second half, FHSU went on a 16-2 run to seal the game, leading by 30 with 11:27 to play. The lead grew as large as 39 points in the second half before the final margin of 34.
The Coaches: In his 24th season as head coach at Missouri Southern, Robert Corn has guided the Lions to 20 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Postseason Tournament berths (15 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 388-295 (.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.
Mark Johnson is in his 12th season of directing the Fort Hays State University men's basketball program after being named head coach on July 13, 2001. He holds an overall record of 245-105 at Hays and is a 1993 graduate of Pittsburg State.
Series History: Fort Hays holds a 25-17 advantage over the Lions. Prior to the 2007-08 season, all of the games came when both teams were in the CSIC. The Lions have won five out of eight games in the series, but Fort Hays has knocked the Lions out of the MIAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons.The Tigers have had two separate streaks of five wins in a row. Southern dropped seven straight games from 1982 to 1985 and have lost 13 out of the last 15 games with the Tigers with the last meeting taking place in 1989. The largest margin of victory for the Lions came on two consecutive games on Feb. 18, 1977 and Feb. 3, 1978 when Southern defeated the Tigers by identical 15 point margins. The largest margin of victory for the Tigers came in the 1987-88 season when Hays defeated Southern twice by the margins of 26 and 44 points. At home, Southern is 13-6 against the Tigers. The Lions are 4-16 in Hays and are 0-3 in nuetral site games.