Joplin, Mo. -- Jordan Talbert had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but the Missouri Southern men's basketball team couldn't overcome a five-point first-half deficit and the Lions fell 76-67 today to Fort Hays State at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Fort Hays (9-3, 1-3 MIAA) wins its first MIAA game this season and the Tigers were led by Craig Nicholson with 22 points and four assists, going 11-11 from the free-throw line.
Hays opened up a 12-6 lead at the 13:32 mark of the first half after a layup from Jake Stoppel, but an 8-2 run from the Lions tied the score at 14 capped off by a three from Addison with 11:20 left in the half. The Lions led by five (20-15) with 8:54 left in the half and led by five again (31-26) after a pair of freebies from Talbert with 5:37 left. That would be the last lead the Lions would hold, however, as Hays went on an 8-1 run and went up by three (34-31) with 3:43 left and would go into the locker room with a 42-37 lead.
Southern got as close as two (44-42) after a free-throw from Lane Barlow with 17:15 left in the second half, but the Tigers led the entire half. Fort Hays led by as many as 12 (66-54) after a layup from James Fleming with 9:33 left in the game.
The Lions shot 72 percent from the free-throw line and the game saw three tied scores and eight lead changes.
Southern will be back in action on Wednesday night when the Lions will travel to Central Oklahoma to take on the Bronchos at 7:30 pm.