March 15, 2014

Addison's 26 leads No. 19 Lions over Fort Hays in NCAA Tournament opener, 80-69

Mankato, Minn. -- Senior guard Marquis Addison scored 26 points and the No. 19 Missouri Southern men's basketball team took out Fort Hays 80-69 today in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Central Regional at the Taylor Center in Mankato.

Southern (25-5) was led by Addison's 26 as the Olathe, Kan. native went 9-13 from the field, 2-2 from long-range and 6-9 from the free-throw line to go with nine rebounds, three asissts and two steals. 

Jordan Talbert and Lane Barlow scored 11 points each with Talbert bringing in five rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Slim Magee scored six, but added a game-high 12 rebounds and four blocks. The four blocks give him 64 this season, which puts him in front of Talbert for the single-season MSSU record. 

Fort Hays (22-8) had two score in double-figures led by 21 from Dwayne Bunson and 15 from Craig Nicholson.

The Tigers started the game on a 6-0 run, but Southern responded with a 9-0 run of their own to storm ahead 9-6.  Hays led 22-17 at the 9:15 mark, but a bucket from Talbert, as well as four from Cornelius, a dunk and a layup, put the Lions ahead 23-22 at the under eight minute timeout. 

Hays led again (25-23), but four-straight points from the Lions, capped off by a pair of freebies from Addison pushed the Lions ahead 27-25 with under five to go in the half. The Lions' lead reached eight (35-27) after another pair of free-throws and a layup from Addison. A three-pointer from Austin Wright at the buzzer gave the Lions a 40-32 lead at the break. 

Addison led the Lions with ten points at the half, while Cornelius scored eight. Magee had three blocks at the break that put him in front of Talbert for the single-season block record at MSSU. 

Magee scored a bucket in the paint coming out of the break to put the Lions up by ten (42-32) and both teams would trade baskets before a layup from Barlow with 15:41 to go gave Southern a 54-42 lead. The Southern lead reached 17 (70-53) after two free-throws from Barlow with 6:20 to go. The lead would be as high as 18 twice, the last after a jumper from Addison made the score 80-62 with 1:48 left. 

The 11-point win ties a school record for the largest margin of vicotry in an NCAA Tournament game, matching the mark the Lions had against No. 1 ranked Florida Southern in the 2000 Elite Eight (76-65).

Southern out rebounded the Tigers 40-22 and shot 52 percent from the field, while making 46 percent of its three pointers. The Lions had a 42-24 advantage in the paint and an 11-0 lead in second-chance points, due to the 13-3 advantage on the offensive boards. Southern led 14-4 in fast break points and had eight blocks in the game. 

The Lions will now move on to the round of 32 to face the winner of the Central Missouri - Arkansas Tech game at 5 pm on Sunday evening. The game will be video streamed live and for free via the host tournament site (Tournament Host Site).