WICHITA, Kan. — Kyle Younge and Stan Scott established career scoring highs, but No. 21 Missouri Southern had to withstand Newman’s second-half comeback to edge the Jets 82-79 Saturday afternoon at Fugate Gymnasium.
The Lions (2-0) led 43-27 at halftime after shooting 51% from the field to Newman’s 28%. A jumper by Cam Martin in the paint and a 3-pointer by RJ Smith in the first 40 seconds of the second half gave Missouri Southern its biggest lead 48-27.
But the Jets nailed three 3-pointers in less than a minute to slice the deficit to 48-36 with 17:44 to play. Newman, which shot 65% in the second half, still trailed by 12 with five minutes left before making a final spurt.
Martin’s jumper with 4:14 to play gave MIssouri Southern an 81-69 lead and proved to be the Lions’ final field goal of the game as they missed their final four shots and committed three turnovers down the stretch.
Newman’s Tyjil Hereford sank two free throws with 1:21 left and Joel Boyce hit two more 33 seconds later to cap a 10-0 spurt and pull the Jets within 81-79 with 48 seconds left.
On the Lions’ possession, Younge drove the ball toward the basket and was fouled. Younge suffered cramps on the play, and when the team trainer came on the court to assist, Younge had to leave the game. The Newman coaching staff got to pick Younge’s replacement shooter, and Christian Bundy was the Jets’ choice to shoot. Bundy made the back end of a two-shot free throw for a three-point lead, and the Jets misfired on their game-tying 3-point attempt.
Younge, 5-foot-10 sophomore, fired in 23 points to lead the Lions, almost doubling his previous high of 12 points last season against Culver-Stockton. He popped in 21 first-half points, going 8 of 10 from the floor and 5 of 6 from long range.
Scott, 6-4 senior, tallied 11 of his 19 points in the first half, finishing 8 of 12 from the field, 2 of 3 from the arc and 1 of 2 at the foul line in 27 minutes. His former high for the Lions was 14 points two days earlier at Central Oklahoma.
Senior center Cam Martin notched another double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and he tied his career high with seven assists. Martin, who became the 10th player in MSSU history to reach 1,500 points, scored 16 second-half points and was 8-of-17 from the field and 3-of-4 at the line.
Guard RJ Smith snagged nine rebounds as the Lions held a 43-34 advantage on the boards.
Branden Bunn hit five treys while scoring 23 points to lead the Jets (0-1). Boyce and Hereford added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lions continue their season-opening road swing on Tuesday night at Central Missouri.