The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 11, 2014

Henry: Hug among memorable moments

March 1987: Chris Tuggle’s 3-point goal from the top of the circle hits nothing but net at the buzzer as Missouri Southern beats rival Drury 85-84 in the District 16 championship game.

May 1992: Coach Pat Lipira climbs on the screen in front of the dugout as shortstop Katrina Marshall fields a ground ball, steps on second base and throws to first to complete a game-ending double play as Missouri Southern nips Cal State-Hayward 1-0 in the Division II softball national championship game.

May 2013: Missouri Southern’s baseball players dash from the dugout to home plate to greet Sam Ryan after his ninth-inning, two-out, three-run home run gives the Lions a 6-3 victory over Missouri Western in the MIAA Tournament championship game.

March 2014: Another unforgettable Missouri Southern championship moment occurs Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.

The Lions defeated Central Oklahoma 84-72 to win the men’s basketball conference postseason tournament championship. As the celebration began on the Municipal Auditorium floor, Lions coach Robert Corn received a big hug from his son Rob near midcourt.

This emotional moment touched more than just the Lions’ basketball family and fans. Gene Cassell, sports information director at Washburn University, made a post Sunday night on Twitter. “I’ve been around many MIAA tourneys but 1 of the coolest things I’ve seen is MSSU’s Coach Corn hugging Robbie at the end of the game today.”

The Lions won the postseason tournament for the third time in school history and the first time since the tournament came to Kansas City in 2003.

“We’ve lost to Fort Hays (State) three years in a row, got bounced out in the (quarterfinals) the last two years,” senior forward Jordan Talbert said. “To come out and win the whole thing, it’s all joy right now.”

The Lions reached the final with a 70-67 victory over Northwest Missouri State in a Saturday night game that had more resemblance to an Elite Eight game than a postseason tournament semifinal. But Talbert knew the Lions had plenty left in the tank for the next game.

“If you don’t find some energy in the championship game, you’re not really made for this game,” he said. “I knew we were coming out ready to play regardless of how many minutes we played before. To come out and get this win was huge for us.”

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