The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 1, 2014

MSSU erupts, wallops Lincoln

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Southern owned a one-point lead over Lincoln midway through the first half.

And then the Lions erupted.

The Lions broke away with 15 consecutive points and coasted past the Blue Tigers 102-68 Saturday afternoon at Jason Gymnasium.

The Lions (21-5, 15-4 MIAA) shot 57 percent and placed five players in double figures while ending the regular season on a six-game winning streak.

They also gave retiring head coach Robert Corn career victory No. 409, moving him past former Northwest Missouri State coach Steve Tappmeyer into third place on the MIAA’s career victory list.

After the game, Lincoln athletics director Betty Kemna gave Corn a framed certificate recognizing his 25-year career, the game ball and a dozen golf balls.

“I’ll lose those in one day,” Corn quipped.

Austin Wright turned in another long-distance shooting performance and tallied 17 points to lead the Lions. He hit 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range, making him 11-of-15 from the arc for the last two games.

Slim Magee and Marquis Addison tallied 16 points apiece. Jordan Talbert joined the 1,000-point club while scoring 13 points, and Lane Barlow scored 12 and dished out seven assists.

Talbert and Magee grabbed nine rebounds apiece to lead the Lions to a 47-33 advantage on the boards.

Lincoln (3-24, 1-18) trailed 19-18 after Jeremy Jackson drove for a layup with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. But the next four minutes belonged to Missouri Southern.

Addison hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Matt Everson to ignite the spree, and Blaine Miller made 1-of-2 free throws. Cameron Cornelius converted two charities, Miller scored on a tipin, Magee scored on a dunk and layin, and Miller hit a trey from the top of the key for a 34-18 cushion with 6:33 left in the half.

“I thought our 2-2-1 three-quarter court press slowed the tempo down,” Corn said. “We were having a hard time guarding them in transition. They were blowing right by us and getting to the basket and finishing the play. We went to the zone, and it seemed like they started standing around more than what they had been earlier.

“The last 10 minutes of the first half, we played some really good basketball. That’s when we made our mark. The zone really helped us, and we did a nice job of sharing the basketball and took care of the basketball (two first-half turnovers). That was a big key.”

During the final minute of the half, Barlow’s crisp pass found Talbert alone underneath the basket, and Talbert elevated and scored easily for career points No. 1,000 and 1,001.

“I should have dunked it,” Talbert said with a laugh. “I’ve been fortunate to watch great players come through here and reach that milestone along the way — Skyler (Bowlin), Keane (Thomann), Jason (Adams), Marquis. It’s one of the highlights of my career.”

The Lions hit 59 percent while building a 55-27 halftime lead. They reached the century mark for the third time in four games and the eighth time this season on Everson’s drive down the lane with 1:24 remaining.

“We could come out lackadaisical and not show up,” Talbert said. “But we came out and had a good performance.”

Joshua Buie led Lincoln with 14 points, followed by James Edmond with 13 and Mike Smith and Robert Hopkins with 11 apiece.

The Lions are the No. 3 seed for the conference postseason tournament next weekend in Kansas City. The play at 8:15 Friday night against the winner of Tuesday’s Lindenwood at Nebraska-Kearney play-in game.

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