The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

February 1, 2014

Lion offense sputters in road loss to Mules

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Guard Daylen Robinson tallied 23 points to lead hot-shooting Central Missouri past Missouri Southern 75-62 Saturday afternoon at the UCM Multipurpose Building.

The Mules (17-4, 9-3 MIAA) hit 58 percent from the field (29-of-50) and climbed into a tie for second place in the conference standings with the Lions and Fort Hays State, an 87-85 winner over Washburn. First-place Northwest Missouri State owns a two-game lead after Saturday’s 92-59 victory over Lincoln.

The Lions (15-4, 9-3) shot 43 percent (17-of-40), and their offensive woes can be summarized by the number one.

One, as in senior guard Marquis Addison scored 18 points but was the lone Lion to reach double figures. The Lions had at least three double-figure scorers in every game this season except the 74-72 loss to Arkansas-Fort Smith when they had two in double figures.

One, as in one 3-point goal (by Austin Wright with 13:17 left in the first half) in 11 attempts. The Lions entered the game averaging 5.2 treys per game and shooting 36 percent.

And one, as in one assist, and it was by Addison on Wright’s 3. The Lions averaged 16.7 assists in their first 18 games.

“It was a struggle offensively the whole 40 minutes for us,” Lions coach Robert Corn said. “They were physical ... pushed us out farther than we wanted to play. And when you go 1-for-11 from the 3, that’s not going to spread the defense out.

“We got to the basket some but were not able to finish plays. We had some good looks at the 3 but the ball wouldn’t go down for us. When you’re averaging 86 points per game and you score 62, it’s hard to win, particularly on the road.”

Addison, who made 5-of-10 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws, pushed his career total to 1,421 points, passing Matt Olson and moving into eighth place on the Lions’ career scoring list.

Robinson, 6-foot senior guard and a transfer from Texas Tech, made 9-of-17 field goals and 5-of-8 free throws for his 23 points, doubling his season average.

“We had a hard time keeping him in front of us,” Corn said. “He was able to get the ball down the lane and finish plays.”

Center Dillon Deck added 15 points for the Mules, and reserve Kyle Wolf added 12.

Jordan Talbert, Slim Magee and Greg Renfroe had five rebounds apiece as the Lions outrebounded the Mules 28-22. The Lions also had a 13-9 advantage in second-chance points, but the Mules outscored the Lions 36-24 in the paint.

The Lions cut a nine-point deficit to 27-24 on Renfroe’s jumper with 2:42 left in the half, but the Mules outscored the Lions 10-4 in the rest of the half to lead 37-28 at the break. Preston Brunz’s trey ignited the spurt, and Robinson ended it with a three-point play with three seconds left in the half.

The Mules pushed their lead to 42-28 on Deck’s layup and Jon Gilliam’s trey in the first minute of the second half, and the Lions never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The Lions have a week off before playing host to the Mules next Saturday afternoon.

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