The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 2, 2012

Lions become aggressive in second half, rally past Wonder Boys

From staff reports

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — After dismal shooting during the first half, Missouri Southern missed only three shots inside the 3-point arc during the second half and rallied for a 58-50 victory over Arkansas Tech on Saturday night.

The Lions (4-3) shot 40 percent (14-of-47) from the floor, but they missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts. Missouri Southern was just 7-of-27 (26 percent) in the first half, but the Lions were 12-of-20 in the second half, including 12-of-15 from 2-point range.

The Lions also sank 18-of-25 free throws in the final 20 minutes after going just 2-of-4 at the line in the first half and trailing 22-16 at the half.

“The big thing was we became more aggressive and didn’t settle for jump shots,” Lions coach Robert Corn said. “We started taking the ball tot he basket and getting to the free-throw line, and we were able to convert.”

Marquis Addison scored 18 points to lead three Lions in double figures. Jordan Talbert collected 15 points and nine rebounds as the Lions outrebounded the Wonder Boys 40-36, and R.J. Leverette added 10 points.

Addison and Talbert scored 13 points apiece in the second half. They combined for the last seven points of a 9-0 spurt in the second half that erased a five-point deficit and gave the Lions their first lead with approximately 13 minutes left.

Greg Renfroe hit two free throws to begin the spurt, and Talbert’s defensive rebound led to Addison’s three-point play and a 33-33 deadlock. Addison then stole the inbounds pass and scored to put the Lions ahead by two, and Talbert’s bucket after an offensive board made it 37-33

The Lions maintained the lead the rest of the way. Cameron Cornelius’ steal and ensuing three-point play on a layup gave the Lions a five-point lead with four minutes left. Renfroe’s layup off an assist from Talbert made it 52-45 with 2:48 left, and in the last minute, Matt Everson’s free throw after a steal and two Leverette charities gave the Lions their biggest lead 58-47.

“Cam came up with a huge steal and converted the 2-plus-1,” Corn said. “We were able to convert a couple of others on fast breaks as well.

“I thought our defense was really good. They had very few wide open looks at the basket. Our rebounding for the most part was one-and-done, and we were able to get some offense out of our defense.”

Tyler Friedel hit three of Arkansas Tech’s nine treys and had 12 points to lead the Wonder Boys (2-3).

The Lions have a home game at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Central Bible.