Southern men fall 79-60 to Fort Hays in MIAA Tournament Quarterfinals

Kansas City, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's basketball team trailed by just five at the half, but the #1 seed Fort Hays State Tigers used a big second half to defeat the Lions 79-60 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 MIAA Basketball Tournament today in Kansas City. 

Southern (13-15) was led in scoring by Marquis Addison as the junior scored 13 points and added six rebounds. Jordan Talbert had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. The seven blocks are a career-high for Talbert and are the second-highest single-game total in MSSU history, behind Chris Tucker's nine on February 5, 1994 against Pittsburg State. RJ Leverette had ten points and five assists, while Cameron Cornelius added nine points of his own.

The eight team blocks by the Lions is four off of the single-game record (12) set by the Lions in that same February 5, 1994 game. The Lions, as a team, had 102 blocks this season, just eight shy of the school record (110) set in 1991-92. 

Fort Hays (20-7) had four players in double-figures led by 19 from Craig Nicholson. Ben Congiusta scored 17 and Carson Konrade added 15. 

The Lions opened an 8-2 lead early on after a three from Addison with 16:29 left to play in the half. The lead would be 11-6 after another three from Addison, but Hays used a 5-0 run to tie the game after a dunk from Dwayne Brunson with 14:15 left in the half. A three from Conguista with 11:46 left in the half, gave Hays a one-point lead and after a free-throw from Talbert tied it, the Tigers picked up a three from Conguista to take a lead they would not surrender. The deficit would be five (36-31) at the half. 

Southern got to within three twice in the second half, the second time after a three from Austin Wright with 11:23 to go capped a 15-6 Lions' run and make the score 51-48. Southern cut the game to four again with just over seven minutes to go, but Hays closed the game on a 17-2 run. 

The Lions shot 40 percent from the field, but 19 second-chance points for the Tigers and 20 off of Southern turnovers did MSSU in. 

Southern ends its season 13-15, but the Lions return their entire roster for next season. Juniors Marquis Addison and Jordan Talbert were both named All-MIAA this season, as well.