The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

November 24, 2012

Eastern New Mexico decks cold-shooting Lions

CANYON, Texas — Raphael Love poured in 18 of his 27 points in the second half as Eastern New Mexico decked Missouri Southern 81-61 Saturday afternoon in the Pak-A-Sak Thanksgiving Classic at the First United Bank Center.

Love, 6-foot-4 junior guard, fired in 6-of-8 shots from 3-point range, 9-of-12 attempts overall from the field and 3-of-4 free throws to almost double his 14.7 season scoring average. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, one more than his average.

Rodney Blackmon and Lawrence Domingo added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Greyhounds (3-2), who pulled away from a 32-28 halftime lead.

Marquis Addison and Stephen Atkinson scored 12 points apiece for Missouri Southern (3-3).

The Lions trailed by only four points at halftime despite shooting 28 percent (7-of-28) from the field. Atkinson’s layup pulled MSSU within 41-36 four minutes into the second half. But the Lions didn’t make another field goal until Blaine Miller’s layup eight minutes later after the Greyhounds had stretched their lead to 62-41.

The Greyhounds shot 68 percent (15-of-22) in the second half and 53 percent (27-of-51) for the game while the Lions finished at 30 percent (14-of-46, including 6-of-23 from beyond the arc).

“I felt like we took a step forward with the way we played (Friday in a 57-55 loss at the buzzer to No. 20 West Texas A&M),” Lions coach Robert Corn said on his postgame radio show. “But we took probably three steps back in this game. We didn’t play hard. We didn’t play with any emotion. Defensively we didn’t do anything, and offensively everything was east and west — nothing toward the basket.

“It comes down to execution and playing with emotion and enthusiasm. We didn’t have any energy. We competed and did some positive things (Friday) but we didn’t come back and play with the same type of emotion and the same type of energy. That’s the disappointing thing.”

The Lions have a week of practice before their next game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Arkansas Tech.

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