By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
ST. CHARLES, Mo. —
Two seasons ago, Tyler Ressel made two 3-point goals for a total of six points in 11 games off the bench as a freshman at Missouri Southern.
He transferred to Lindenwood for educational purposes, and on Thursday night, he burned his former team with 21 points as Lindenwood started quick and rolled past the Lions 95-69 at Hyland Arena.
Lindenwood (9-3, 2-2 MIAA) shot 58 percent from the floor and handed head coach Brad Sodenberg victory No. 300 for his 17-year career, including an 89-22 mark in three-plus seasons at Lindenwood.
Missouri Southern (7-5, 2-2), by contrast, suffered through one of its coldest shooting nights — 38 percent on 23-of-61 from the floor, 6-of-17 from beyond the arc. This came on the heels of a 58 percent shooting game and 15 treys against Missouri Western.
“We weren’t very aggressive to the basket,” MSSU coach Robert Corn said. “We tried to shoot around people instead of going through them. We didn’t get the shots to fall.
“And Lindenwood did a nice job on runouts. They got out in transition, did a nice job of finding the open guy for a 3 and knocking the shot down. Even in our halfcourt defense, we couldn’t keep the ball in front of us. We allowed too much penetration and gave up good looks.”
Ressel, 6-foot-1, 167-pound junior, tripled his season average with 21 points, two below his season high against Illinois-Springfield. He popped in 7-of-12 field goals, 5-of-9 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 free throws. He also two steals, an assist and a blocked shot in 26 minutes off the bench.
“I try to come out and play hard every game,” said Ressel, who has added 19 pounds since his year at MSSU. “But this one was a little special to me. It was. I’ll be honest. There’s no hiding that.
“The coaching staff there, they are great. I’ve known Coach Corn and obviously my uncle for a long time. There are no hard feelings at all.”
“Did he have an assist? He had one,” said MSSU associate head coach Ronnie Ressel, Tyler’s uncle. “The only way when we would look similar is when he had a nice pass. As far as the shooting, I couldn’t shoot when I played. I shot a good percentage, but with his range, he caught it and shot with confidence.
“It was frustrating. We knew they were a very good shooting team, and we need to take the 3 away from them. We did not take anything away from them. Once they got going, it was kind of like us when we got going against Missouri Western the other night.
And the words from uncle to nephew after the game?
“I told him great game and keep it up,” Ronnie said.
“Getting two years old and being in the weight room, he played a very good basketball game,” Corn said.
Richie Thompson, on 8-of-9 sniping from the floor, and Alex Bazzell netted 17 points apiece for Lindenwood, and Bazzell dished out 13 assists. Darris Smith made 7-of-11 shots and had 16 points.
Jordan Talbert paced five Lions in double figures with 14 points plus six rebounds , three assists and two steals.
Morgan Smith scored the Lions first six points and set a career high with 13 points. Cameron Cornelius scored 11 — also a career best — and Marquis Addison and Matt Everson each had 10. Addison scored all of his points in the second half and was 4-of-18 from the floor. He also had six of the Lions’ 14 steals.
Lindenwood hit 11 treys, including two early by Ressel as the home team opened a 28-8 lead midway through the first half. It was 48-33 at halftime, and the Lions never got closer than 14 points — 62-48 — in the second half.
“We went through a stretch where we took some quick shots and had guys shooting shots they probably should not have taken,” Corn said. “We did not do a good job fighting through things. When things are going well, it’s easy to play, but when things are difficult, you have to fight through things sometimes.”
The Lions conclude their two-game road swing Saturday afternoon at Lincoln.