January 18, 2014

Second-half free-throw shooting lifts Lions to 76-63 win over Lincoln

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern basketball team scored 24 of their 36 second-half points from the free-throw line and Cameron Cornelius paced the Lions with 21, as the Lions defeated visiting Lincoln 76-63 tonight inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. 

The Lions (13-2, 7-1 MIAA) were clutch in the second-half, making 80 percent of their free-throws as the Lions went 12:13 in the second half without a field goal. 

Cornelius paced the Lions with 21 points on 4-8 from the field and 13-14 from the free-throw line. Marquis Addison had a double-double with 13 points and ten rebounds, while Slim Magee scored 12 off the bench. Jordan Talbert had nine points and three blocks. 

Lincoln (2-14, 0-8 MIAA) had three score in double-figures, led by 21 points from Josh Buie and 20 from Mike Smith. 

The Lions opened up a 12-4 lead early on and led by 11 (20-9) after a three from Blaine Miller with 8:57 left in the first half. The lead was 12 after a pair of free-throws from Cornelius the next trip down, and another pair of free-throws from Cornelius with 1:36 left in the half gave the Lions a 40-26 lead. A 4-0 run from Lincoln made the halftime score 40-30. 

The Lions' lead reached 15 (49-34) after a layup from Cornelius with 16:59 left in the game, but a stretch of more than 12 minutes without a field goal went the Lions' clutch free-throw shooting kept Lincoln at bay. The Blue Tigers got as close as five (64-59) with 4:29 left, but the Lions closed out the game on a 12-4 run. 

The Lions held a 34-30 advantage on the boards and scored 25 points off of 21 Lincoln turnovers. Southern had a 12-7 advantage in second-chance points and the Lions shot 79 percent from the charity stripe in the game.

The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday evening as Southern travels to Maryville in a battle for first place in the MIAA. Tip-off at Northwest Missouri is slated for 7:30 pm.