The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 20, 2012

Fort Smith's big second half sinks Lions


From staff reports

Fort Smith, Ark. — Arkansas-Fort Smith shot 68 percent while dominating the second half and decked Missouri Southern 76-57 Tuesday night at the Stubblefield Center.

UAFS (1-2), making its home debut, made 19-of-28 shots from the field while outscoring the Lions 44-23 during the second half and erasing a 34-32 halftime deficit.

Missouri Southern (3-1), meanwhile, was just 9-of-39 (23 percent) in the second half and 32 percent (23-of-73) for the game compared to 52 percent (34-of-65) for Arkansas-Fort Smith.

“I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half of weathering the storm and battling through,” Lions coach Robert Corn said on his postgame radio show. “No doubt they were more physical than we were and it presented problems for us, particularly in the second half. The second half their ability to block shots caused problems for us, and the boards were a big key in the whole game. We got manhandled on the glass (52-36) and we didn’t shoot the ball very good. You go on the road and shoot 32 percent and 1-for-14 from the 3-point line, it makes it pretty difficult to win games.”

Junior forward Jordan Talbert logged a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Missouri Southern. Talbert, who tallied 12 first-half points, hit 7-of-14 from the floor, including the team’s only trey, and 1-of-1 at the line.

Marquis Addison, who was 5-of-17 from the field, added 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and Matt Everson scored 10 points on 4-of-8 accuracy from the floor and 2-of-2 at the line. He also dished out five assists.

Jelani Poston, 6-foot-7 junior forward, scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots for UAFS. Corey Copeland and Xavier McClish had 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Missouri Southern trailed most of the first half, including 19-9 at the 10-minute mark, but three-point plays by Talbert and Stephen Atkinson gave MSSU its two-point halftime lead.

The score was tied three times early in the second half before a basket by Poston put UAFS ahead to stay, 40-38. Two layups by Copeland sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Djordje Stojanovic pushed Fort Smith’s lead to 50-42 with 11:47 left, and Missouri Southern made only two field goals in the next six minutes as UAFS built a 62-46 lead.

The Lions resume their road swing this weekend at the West Texas A&M Classic in Canyon, Texas. Missouri Southern plays the host Buffaloes at 8 p.m. Friday and Eastern New Mexico at 4 p.m. Saturday.