The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

January 11, 2013

Lions attempt to bounce back today

— Missouri Southern has been on both sides of 95-69 men’s basketball scores in the last two games — a home victory over Missouri Western one week ago and a road loss to Lindenwood on Thursday night.

The Lions attempt to bounce back from their worst conference loss in four seasons today with another road contest against Lincoln. Tipoff is 3:30 in Jefferson City.

The Lions fell behind 28-8 in the first 10 minutes as Lindenwood hit 10 of its first 16 shots, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. The Lions also had 16 shots at that time, but they made only two, and they were 0-of-4 from long range.

Morgan Smith scored all six MSSU points in the first five minutes, and guard Matt Everson’s basket off a drive produced the Lions’ only points in the next five minutes.

Lions season scoring leader Marquis Addison did not make a shot until the second half. And in a touch of irony, freshman guard Austin Wright, after making five treys among seven field goals against Missouri Western, had one basket against Lindenwood — a tipin in the first half.

“We went through a stretch where we took some quick shots,” Lions coach Robert Corn said. “When you struggle to score anyway like we do at times, and the guys who need to break those droughts aren’t able to find the basket, it makes it really difficult.”

Junior forward Jordan Talbert scored 14 points as the Lions placed five players in double figures for the second straight game. Talbert was 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-4 at the foul line.

Smith, 6-0 sophomore guard, established a season high with 13 points, and Cameron Cornelius, another sophomore guard, matched his season best with 11. Smith sank 4-of-7 field goals and 4-of-4 charities in 24 minutes, and Cornelius made 2-of-2 field goals and 6-of-10 free throws in 12 minutes off the bench.

Addison and Everson finished with 10 points each as the Lions shot 38 percent compared to Lindenwood’s 58 percent.

Lincoln also is coming off a lopsided loss, an 85-63 home decision against Pittsburg State. The Blue Tigers (2-13, 1-4) shot 32 percent, were outrebounded 43-36 and committed 17 turnovers.

Cedric Ridle Jr., 6-2 senior guard, poured in 31 points for Lincoln to raise his average to 19.2 points. He made 10-of-23 field goals, 3-of-8 treys and 8-of-11 free throws.

“Lincoln is going to be good. Everybody in this league is good,” Corn said. “They are athletic. They have a couple of very good players.

“We have to do a good job defensively. Any time you are on the road, your defense has to be solid. We can’t go in there and expect to get in a shootout with them. We have to do a much better job defensively and get some stops. And we have to make sure we execute on the offense.”

The Lions beat Lincoln 78-72 almost two months ago in the Freeman Sports Medicine/Chris Tucker Memorial Classic, thanks to an 11-4 spurt in the final 1:44.

Addison scored 21 points, center Greg Renfroe 17, Everson 14 and guard R.J. Leverette 10 for the Lions, who trailed 30-27 at halftime.

Lincoln received 22 points from Ridle, 17 from DeShun Watkins and 11 from Shakir Preston.

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